14 June 2019
A picture of Group Chief Executive Craig Moule reflects on two years since Grenfell Tower Fire

Two years have passed since the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower which resulted in 72 people losing their lives. Group Chief Executive Craig Moule writes about the steps Sanctuary has taken to listen to residents and make homes safer.

Craig Moule, Group Chief Executive, said:

“I will never forget the morning of 14 June 2017 and waking up to see the terrifying scenes of Grenfell Tower alight. The awful reality of the lives and homes that had been lost was compounded when it was reported that residents had raised their concerns about fire safety but had not been listened to. 

“The fire haunts everyone who works in social housing - indeed anyone who is responsible for any building where people sleep. We must make sure that, as a society, there is justice for the survivors of Grenfell and that, as a sector, we honour those who lost their lives by ensuring it never happens again. 

“Over the past two years, Sanctuary has increased its mechanisms to engage and listen to residents. Most recently, we’ve become an early adopter of the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants plan and I am keen we take this further forward. 

“As part of our response to the review of building regulations by Dame Judith Hackitt, we have also launched a consultation with residents about fire safety information they want and how we can develop engagement strategies for their buildings that meet residents’ needs.

“Also in response to the Hackitt Review, we’re already undertaking a project to identify the ‘golden thread’ of fire and structural safety information for our buildings. This information is produced during each element of design, planning, construction and occupation of a building. It is a huge data gathering and analysis exercise. I agree with Dame Judith that it is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure residents are and feel safe, and to give them complete confidence that we know our buildings inside-out and can mitigate any risks. 

“We have invested in, recruited and trained an in-house fire safety team, made up of 57 staff. This is because we consider safety to be our number one priority and because we want complete confidence in assessing risks and taking swift action to mitigate them. 

“We've committed £11m to fire safety measures which includes the installation of sprinklers in all our 14 highest buildings, along with some other buildings that we consider to be higher risk. Sprinklers are not the only answer but our decision to install them is undoubtedly right for these buildings. 

“And we have continued our strong partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, as our primary authority scheme, who advise us on all matters related to fire safety.

“Fire safety in buildings is about an on-going joint effort between Sanctuary and our residents, and about working together to ensure that Grenfell could never happen again. We owe it to those who lost their lives and homes to make Britain’s homes safer than ever before.”

If you have any queries or concerns about fire safety, please contact us at contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.