This vivid and moving film collates the memories of survivors, the bereaved, firefighters, safety experts, and the politicians linked to five intensely fierce fire disasters that preceded Grenfell. This telling collection of interviews and archive footage shows the clear warnings that existed and could have predicted a Grenfell-type inferno happening in Britain.
Skip to content
My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
The Fires that Foretold Grenfell
A haunting story of five fires that foretold the Grenfell disaster, told by those directly involved.
Available on BBC iPlayerBBC Two on Tuesday
30th October 2018 at 9:00PM
Made over the course of 12 months, the film crucially tells the story of the legislative history of building regulations from 1973 to the present day through five fires.
Focusing on three key factors that contributed to the scale of disaster at Grenfell – the flammable cladding applied to the tower, the fire service’s ‘Stay Put’ advice for residents, and the absence of sprinklers – the programme will hear first-hand how these factors had already played a part in the previous five blazes, some with fatal consequences.
The programme explores the causes, subsequent investigations and the recommendations that were sent to successive UK governments, ultimately posing the question, if lessons had been learned as a result of tragic repetition of errors over the decades, could Grenfell have been avoided?
The five fires revisited include: Summerland disaster, Douglas, Isle of Man (1973); Knowsley Heights fire, Liverpool (1991); Garnock Court fire, Irvine, N Ayrshire (1999); Harrow Court fire, Stevenage, Herts (2005); and Lakanal House, London (2009).
A total of 72 lives were lost in the Grenfell disaster and anger has grown amongst local residents towards their council.Read now ❯Grenfell Tower Timeline: Was the disaster inevitable?
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform others – from police officers to civil servants to business executives – who want to base their decisions on the best evidence. The BA (Honours) Combined Social Science is designed to be very flexible, enabling you to develop a variety of knowledge and skills from a combination of subjects including psychology, sociology, social policy, criminology, geography, politics and economics. You can choose to follow a named specialism by concentrating on one of these areas, or create your own combination of subjects. This degree course will equip you with skills highly valued by employers, such as using IT for the retrieval and effective presentation of information and data; critical evaluation; and concise writing. You’ll have your own specialist, subject-based academic support as well as opportunities to join in online communities of other social sciences students for teaching, learning and peer support.Learn more ❯BA (Honours) Social Sciences
Our honours degree programme in criminology focuses on cutting edge, topical and often controversial criminological issues. You'll learn to apply research tools, and access and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data on crime, victimisation and the societal responses to them.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Criminology
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? The social sciences explore such questions and help inform professionals – from police officers to civil servants to business executives – who want to base their decisions on the best evidence.Read more ❯BA (Honours) Social Sciences (Criminology)
Why does crime occur? What makes people do harm to others? The BSc (Honours) Criminology and Psychological Studies explores a range of fascinating issues to do with crime, criminal justice and psychology – including antisocial behaviour, surveillance, security, social justice, social welfare and environmental degradation. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of a range of broader psychological and criminological theories and topics, such as how the mind works and the relationship between social welfare and crime control. As well as grasping the complex issues behind so many headlines, TV programmes and political debates, you’ll learn how to construct and analyse arguments; think critically about published work across a range of sources; understand and analyse statistical information; and apply concepts and ideas to the real world. You’ll have your own specialist, subject-based academic support as well as opportunities to join in online communities of other social sciences students for teaching, learning and peer support.Learn more ❯BSc (Honours) Criminology and Psychological Studies
You'll be introduced to criminological approaches used for critically thinking about crime, harm and justice. Through an examination of diverse constructions of crime, global harms and examples of resistance, it provides a framework for understanding the conception, interrogation and reception of criminological knowledge. Building onPrinciples of social and psychological inquiry(DD801), it enhances students' skills in critically reading the social world, understanding, analysing and questioning national, transnational and global policies and in deconstructing media representations of crime and justice. The module will allow you to review, evaluate and assess criminological evidence and develop skills highly desirable in professional contexts within local and global organisations.Learn more ❯Crime and global justice
This multidisciplinary module uses a range of learning technologies to help you understand how social scientists investigate the social world. Drawing on the subjects of criminology, social policy, economics, environmental studies, geography, international studies, politics and sociology, you will explore a wide range of everyday topics. Through the module's investigative and thematic approach you'll learn the methods, perspectives and tools of the social sciences, further developing your analytical and evaluative skills. This module will help you decide your specialisation at OU level 2, and equip you with a range of skills for further independent study, and for your personal and working life.Learn more ❯Investigating the social world
Copyright free: 12019
Principles of social and psychological inquiry
If you work in a context which makes considerable use of social or psychological research or are fascinated by social research then this module, taught entirely online, equips you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to appraise research and communicate your assessment to academic and non-academic audiences. Combining topics from criminology and psychology, it adds value to your career by providing professional development in research literacy, managing research and conceiving of new studies. Upon completion of this module you will have the professional research appraisal skills needed to support your continuing postgraduate studies in psychology, forensic psychology or crime and justice.Learn more ❯Principles of social and psychological inquiry
Our Free Courses:
Why are social psychologists interested in politics, and how can they help us understand things like social movements, protest and activism? This free course, Social psychology and politics, moves away from a state-centric study of politics and, using insights from social psychology, explores the role of identity, personality and culture for political action. The course introduces a critical perspective considering how psychologists themselves can be activists and interrogating the norms of ‘good citizenship’ in Western societies.Learn more ❯Social psychology and politics
This free course is made up of four extracts related to social care, social work and the law in England and Wales. The extracts are stand-alone sections but follow on from each other to make up this course. You will be introduced to five main themes that shape practice in the field of social care and social work. The aim of this course is to enhance your understanding of the relationship between social work practice and the law.Learn more ❯Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales
In this free course, Understanding society: Families, you will explore how different families have different ideas about how work in the home should be divided. You will also investigate the diversity of families. We will see how any discussion of the division of labour has to recognise that families differ in terms of shape and size.Learn more ❯Understanding society: Families
Professor Steve Tombs
Before joining The Open University in January 2013, Steve worked at Liverpool John Moores University where, since 1998, he was Professor of Sociology. There, over 21 years, Steve taught across Schools of Business, Law and, latterly, Social Science and Humanities.
Steve is co-Director of the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative.
He has long-standing interests in the incidence, nature and regulation of corporate crime and harm, and in particular the regulation and ‘management’ of health and safety at work, and have published widely on these matters.
Find out more about Professor Steve Tombs