It has emerged that the company responsible for managing Grenfell Tower had been reviewing fire safety procedures prior to the devastating blaze this week, in particular ‘vulnerable’ residents that use aids such as mobility scooters.
17 people are known to have died so far but officials expect the death toll to rise significantly as emergency services gain access to the tower.
Part of the safety review for the 24-storey tower block in London included the “issue of storage and charging of mobility scooters within communal areas”. There is no evidence to suggest the storage or charging facilities were responsible for starting the fire.
Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) was responsible for managing social housing in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea after it was paid £11m for the role.
In a meeting of Board Directors in November, KCTMO noted that its fire safety policy was being reviewed following “detailed discussions” with the TMO’s Health and Safety Committee.
In the November meeting, the board mentioned that it was currently preparing to ask for funding from the London Fire Brigade’s Community Safety Initiative to help target those most vulnerable to fire and identify effective strategies for reducing this risk.
One of these bids was for the installation of external storage and charging stations for mobility scooters at three of the company’s sheltered housing schemes.
The fire was reported shortly before 1am on Wednesday and is believed to have started on the fourth floor. Forty fire engines and more than 200 firefighters attended the incident.