Sign the Petition: Put pressure on BSi to upgrade wiring regulations
After any catastrophic and potentially avoidable event, the Powers That Be talk about the thorough investigation and learning lessons.
Eventually, for those not personally affected, anger turns to sorrow as time advances and inquiries proceed. My view? Lessons learned aren’t enough. Regulation has to step up; standards have to demand more than minimum.
There is a benefit in staying angry, and I am still angry. This isn’t a blind anger, it’s a focused fury that is fuelling action to achieve change — and really, absolutely ensure that everything that can be done to prevent a repeat event, is done.
I’m talking, of course, about Grenfell Tower. I could be talking about any one of a range of terrible events that have struck the UK in recent months, but it’s Grenfell that has sparked this mission for me. Construction and fire safety in buildings is an area I can help influence, but we can only do it if the public can be moved to support this campaign.
My company, Tratos UK Ltd, is a cable maker. We are innovation-led and quality-driven. We work across a range of industries, but construction is one. Part of our work, and the work of others in our industry, is to ensure that cabling is safe — and that includes stringent fire and smoke testing.
Whatever challenges buildings present, cabling will always be part of the solution to creating an environment where safety and function are equal partners. And they have got to be equal partners. While cladding may be the issue in this case, I want this country to look at what else needs to happen. What else do we need to do to make sure that every element within the built infrastructure works together? What else do we need to do to ensure all construction stakeholders are committed to delivering buildings that protect?
I believe we need to agree, right now, that minimum standards for construction cables are raised. A new UK minimum standard for cabling has to lead as changes are made to other building practices to upgrade safety considerations.
No one wants to learn another lesson like Grenfell.
This campaign, the campaign I’m heading, will push for a change of law. We want the law to recognise higher-performance/higher safety-performance, with a higher specification cable (Cca) as the minimum standard for the new European Commission fire performance standard.
We want this to be stipulated with an immediate revision of the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) legislation introduced this month (July 2017). CPR brings welcome uniformity for cable standards across the EU, but we will push for those minimum standards to be raised.
The only way that this can happen is if Government stipulates that the recommendation of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671) is Cca (higher than the current minimum standard specified).
SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO: SIGN OUR PETITION
So we are launching an online petition. We need people to sign up online to support the call for a new law — and we’re looking for a million signatures/300,000 comments. Industry stakeholders please sign. But if you live in a building, if you work in one, if your children are educated in one or you visit one — so that’s all of us — then you must sign too. This affects you, it affects all of us.
SOME THINGS WE CAN DO: ADD A COMMENT AND SUPPORT CHANGE ON THE BSi WEBSITE
We already have the support of a number of MPs. This campaign is about empowering people to take action that will ultimately make sure that lessons learned translate into making best practice common practice. So, anyone — absolutely anyone — can respond to the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations which are on the British Standards Institute (BSi) website http://www.18th-edition-wiring-regulations.co.uk/2017/03/18th-edition-bs-7671-say/. Anyone, and that means you and I, can give their comments. The 18th edition will be introduced in 2019. There is work to do, but it is important work.
SOME THINGS WE CAN DO: WESTMINSTER DEBATE
I will be pushing for a Westminster Debate on the issue. This campaign is about making the right thing happen, every time, and bringing peace of mind to everyone who lives and or works in the UK.