My Objectives - Tower Block Safety
Tower Block Development and Construction in the UK 

  1. Range of Risks
    The history of tower block development in the UK has been to make changes which have increased risks at each stage.  Any safety strategy must consider the entire range of risks.  The Grenfell Inquiry with its criticism of "stay put" has led to a serious underestimate of the risks involved with self-evacuation.
  2. Combat Amnesia
    By neglecting the production of cyanide and encouraging residents to self-evacuate means that the next tower block tragedy may be one involving mass mortality in stairwells.  (Why the media have gone silent on the issue of cyanide is a mystery - but oviously there are huge commercial interests at stake.)
  3. Consider Alternatives
    Stay put and self-evacuation represent two very dangerous options.  Other alternatives need to be considered.  I believe that much safer alternatives exist. (One plan which I call "refuge flats" would allow residents to begin moving downward and out of tower blocks while still being able to take refuge in a flat if the way out is blocked.)
  4. Involve Residents
    Common to all plans under consideration is the treatment of residents like pieces on a chessboard.  Any response to fire must involve residents.  What is appropriate in one environment may not work in a different evironment.  (It also puts some responsibility onto residents to involve themselves in their own safety.  I think that this activity could easily co-exist with political activity aimed at safer designs.)
  5. Expose Political Indifference
    Unfortunately top-ranking politicians don't live in death-trap tower blocks. In the wake of tragedy they offer fine words but they resist the implementation of solutions with unbelieveable determination.  (Shortly after the Grenfell Tower fire I wrote to the Housing Minister - via my reluctant MP - with six suggestions for immediate action, including a brief description of "refuge flats".  Under the absolute obligation to respond, the minister blatantly refused to admit receiving the suggestions.)
I am prepared to offer copies of letters to the press (usually unpublished - sometimes censored) and am prepared to receive communication from others relevant to the above objectives.  As individuals we are easy to ignore.  Collectively residents in tower blocks can go a long way to make their homes safer.  In large numbers we can bring about positive change.

Eddy Hunt, BSc. MSc. PhD.
6 December 2019