lakanalhouseThe lives of six people could almost certainly have been saved by better implementation of active fire protection at Lakanal House, according to the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association.

With the jury at the case of the 2009 tower block fire hearing last week that the senior-most fire officer first on the scene hadn't been on a familiarisation visit to the flat, BAFSA's technical advisor has moved to suggest that fire protection would've limited its impact anyway.

Ian Gough said: "The deaths which occurred at the Lakanal House fire could almost certainly have been prevented. Poor implementation of the requirements of the fire regulations introduced in 2006 resulted in deficient fire safety provision for the residents. 

"This fire stresses the need for improvements to fire safety standards in high-rise buildings, especially those which are only provided with one staircase. Had active fire protection, like automatic fire sprinklers, been installed during a major refurbishment of the block those six victims would still be with us today. Parliament needs to follow the Welsh Assembly's lead and require all new and refurbished dwellings to be sprinkler protected."

Previously jurors have heard how faulty electrical equipment started the fire in flat number 65 on the ninth floor of the 14 storey block.

It spread to other flats including number 79, where victim Catherine Hickman, 31, lived and flat 81, where victims Helen Udoaka, 34, and her baby daughter Michelle had gathered with Dayana Francisquini, 26, and her children six-year-old Thais, and Filipe, three.

Fire crews were at the scene within three minutes of receiving the first call and followed procedure to get crews deployed but officers were unable to access all the flats in the building.

Posted 21/01/2013 by