Award-winning housing journalist Peter Apps reflects on lessons learned from the Grenfell Tower disaster, five years on.
The Grenfell Tower disaster was the worst residential fire in Britain since World War II and it didn’t have to happen. The fire climbed up cladding as flammable as solid petrol. Fire doors failed to self-close. There was no alarm to warn sleeping residents and no evacuation plan. As smoke seeped into their homes, all were told to ‘stay put’ and 72 people would lose their lives.
Five years on, many of the resulting public inquiry’s recommendations remain unmet. Many high-rise buildings have yet to have the same dangerous cladding removed.
Peter Apps is deputy editor of Inside Housing and the only journalist to have followed the story of Grenfell from the start. At the RSA, he looks at how such a disaster could take place in the wealthiest borough in the wealthiest city in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and asks: what needs to be done to prevent a tragedy like Grenfell from ever happening again?
Want to watch this event at RSA House?
For those wishing to gather with friends or colleagues to watch in-person, this event will be live-streamed on The Steps in The Coffee House on the day of the event from 13:00.