Like everyone else, I watched in horror on the 14th Of June 2017 as Grenfell Tower burned – knowing that people were dying. Knowing also, because we have become used to the pattern, that the subsequent investigation would reveal ignorance, incompetence, cost and neglect as major factors in the tragedy.
I was overwhelmed by grief for those people, but also by anger and frustration that I – we – allow this pattern to keep repeating itself. We watch, experience all those emotions, then – usually – tell ourselves that we’re powerless to do anything.
This time it’s different. A few months later I joined the Make It Worksmart Group and found myself talking about how we could make a difference.
In the intervening months we have undertaken training and accreditation programs to develop our knowledge and have been horrified by the catalogue of avoidable fire disasters that we have found in our research. We have also been genuinely shocked by some of the compromises and failures we’ve seen – I have been guilty of some myself in the past (see my blog ‘What’s To Lose?’ https://worksmartfiredoorinspection.co.uk/2018/10/18/worksmart-fire-door-inspections/ ).
So, what started from a sense of responsibility for ensuring that our own work was ‘proper’ is growing in to something of a mission – to improve fire safety in Scotland and the UK. We want to feel sure that nothing we do ourselves will compromise fire safety, but the sense of responsibility we have always felt to our workforce, customers and community drives us to use whatever influence we have to improve fire safety in any way we can.
Nobody wants to die in a fire. Nobody wants to be bereaved by fire. And nobody wants to feel responsible for either of those things.
So let’s not accept it anymore. Let’s call it out wherever we see it. Let’s lead by example. Contractors, facilities managers, customers, tenants, employers, hotel guests – everyone – let’s take responsibility for preventing another avoidable death.
We believe we can make our buildings safer for everyone by raising awareness and understanding. We believe public awareness can change attitudes and actions. And we believe everyone should be safe in our public spaces and buildings.
Contact us for information on how you can help wherever you work (or play).