Grenfell disaster panel chairman was previously against sprinklers

23/6/2017 (BM/BF)

Cladding was being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House on Friday evening.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170831-9658) PPP-170623-182636001
23/6/2017 (BM/BF) Cladding was being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House on Friday evening. Picture: Sarah Standing (170831-9658) PPP-170623-182636001
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THE chairman of an expert panel assembled in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster had previously advised against the retrospective fitting of sprinklers.

Former London fire commissioner, Sir Ken Knight, is part of an independent panel which will convene to suggest immediate safety action following the fire, which has claimed the lives of at least 79 people.

In his report to the Department for Communities and Local Government, he said: ‘It is not considered as practical or economically viable to make a requirement for the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.

‘However it is a matter for individual housing owners and landlords to decide if automatic fire suppression is required as part of their fire safety strategy based on their fire risk assessment.

Sprinklers, as well as cladding, are expected to be among the details analysed by a public inquiry into the fire.

In Portsmouth, safety assurances were made yesterday at a public meeting at the New Theatre Royal on Guildhall Walk.

Portsmouth City Council began removing cladding from Horatia House and Leamington House on Friday, after test results revealed that it was a potential risk.