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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Like everyone else, I've been distressed by the devastating news about Wednesday's fire at London's Grenfell Tower.

I know that every day, people are injured or killed in their masses throughout the world and like most of us, I hurt for them all. With my daughter working for the London Fire Brigade though, and seeing her return home late the past two nights - so very distressed at what she'd experienced throughout her long days - a more graphic picture than I might have received, has been painted for me.

Early-hours reports that an exploding fridge had caused the fire, weren't, as far as I could see, repeated over the ensuing 24-hours and I'd hoped that this was simply an unfounded rumour, since our industry is already having to deal with the fallout from previous appliance fires - some of which have led to a loss of life. Yesterday afternoon however, once the reporters had been given the chance to speak to survivors, a story emerged that one of the residents on the fourth floor - where it has been said that the fire initially broke out, had called a neighbour into his flat to witness his burning fridge.

The spotlight is currently on other areas though... Building services such as sprinklers and alarms apparently weren't functioning properly and cladding installed last year as part of an upgrade, allegedly caused the fire's incredibly rapid spread. Safety advice given to residents in the event of a fire (before this one occurred), is also being called into question.

Whatever the outcome of the investigations, one thing this disaster has brought home to me is what a heck of a responsibility we all have for other people's lives. We go about our work, often following instructions that we may or may not agree with, generally oblivious to the effect that what we do, might have on others. Gas and electrical safety are much tighter than they used to be but how many of us can honestly say we work safely all the time? Do we perhaps endanger others by cutting corners to get the job done more quickly? Do we drive safely or do we perhaps make rash decisions if we're running late, which could cause other drivers to swerve or brake suddenly and perhaps have an accident?

I won't go on, but it does make you think, doesn't it? At least I hope it does.



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Jan Hobbs



16th June 2017

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