Home In the Press London fire: Many killed as Grenfell Tower engulfed - Lessons for Maltese Engineers and Facilities Managers
Monday, 16 December 2019
London fire: Many killed as Grenfell Tower engulfed - Lessons for Maltese Engineers and Facilities Managers

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks.
He stated that "we can't have a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice
being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or
maintained," he told BBC Radio.
Matt Wrack, of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire
prevention procedures at the building.
Firefighters would normally fight a fire in a tower block from the inside, going up the fire escape,
and fighting using the internal dry-rising mains, he said, but that's not been possible in this case. –
BBC Report

This incident brings to light now more than ever the importance of the proper facilities management
of buildings. In places like Malta, with its densely populated areas, Developers need to carefully
consider the importance of life safety systems from design to execution and eventual maintenance
under the Facilities management regime. A word of caution goes to those engineers involved in the
design of such buildings and others in the management of such facilities. We, as Chamber of
Engineers, strongly recommend that professionals have to be extra vigilant and make sure that no
one is allowed to compromise on costs both when it comes to the construction of the projects and
then when it comes to maintaining and operating them. Ethical considerations need to be looked
into here. There cannot be cases where buildings are certified as achieving compliance to the
necessary requirements from a fire aspect to ensure proper life safety when they are not compliant
just to anticipate that a building is deemed to be ready to be occupied. Such practice would only
endanger the lives of occupants within the development and puts Directors and Professionals
heavily burdened with the liabilities that would emanate from such actions.

We therefore encourage the Government to push forward the process of local building regulations
that should also cover the fire safety aspects of buildings. These regulations should also induce the
requirement for periodic inspections of systems within such buildings and to this effect no distinction
should be made between residential and non-residential buildings.

The Chamber of Engineers is always ready to work with the Government and its competent entities
as we strongly believe in the overarching principle that is core of our profession and that is ensuring
constantly public health and safety.

Inġ. Norman Zammit
President, CoE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 13:48