Resident Support Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am to 5 pm  |   Phone: 01344 316 662  |   Fax: 01344 316 663  |   Email: Grenfell@kenyoninternational.com

  • information for Grenfell Tower residents

We are very sorry for the loss of life and incredible disruption that residents from Grenfell Tower have endured. Although Kenyon is just one of many parties involved in the Grenfell recovery operations, it is our hope that our part does not add to your distress. We understand this is not just a process to you, but it is your life. We truly appreciate your patience as we return your property to you.

Kenyon has created the following video series and information to help residents from Grenfell Tower understand all areas of the property recovery and return operations currently underway. Contact information is at the top right of the screen. Although our working hours are Monday-Friday, just reach out if you need us. We will make every effort to address your questions and concerns when you have them.









Introduction

Practical Considerations



The goal in recovering property from Grenfell Tower was to enable the return of as much personal property to the residents and families of those who perished, as was possible.

In planning the recovery of the property with the police and the Grenfell Recovery Task Force, four prime considerations were established:




Practical Consideration 1: Limited people and time in the building

Multiple teams from different agencies would be operating within the tower during the same time that Kenyon would be recovering property. Police personnel included Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams conducting the exhaustive search and recovery of deceased, and other police teams recovering property and completing investigations. At the same time, crews from Wates (construction company) were working to improve the structural integrity of the building and install outside scaffolding. These operations were undertaken on a seven day a week basis, only stopping for the night, as needed for safety restrictions such as high winds, and to meet needs of residents such as site visits. Because of this, a limit was placed on the number of people allowed who were dedicated only to property recovery. This was in order to safely manage accountability of people in the tower at any one time. This also meant that because of the constant use of the only stairwell in the building, the boxed or bagged property could only be removed from the flats and carried down the stairs at certain times. No large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, tables or beds, could be recovered as they might block the stairwell and so could not be safety removed.



Practical Consideration 2: Building reinforcement efforts

acrow props
Record of works completed

The essential internal reinforcement of the building would start at the top of the tower and would progress to the lower levels of the tower. This reinforcement involved the installation of multiple vertical and horizontal steel support structures (commonly called acrow props) on all floors. In order to install these acrow props, construction workers would need the center area of rooms, hallways and walls cleared. Therefore, furniture and belongings were moved out of the way. In each room dozens of props were used. At the same time, external scaffolding would start at the bottom of the building and progress to the top. This meant that support rods would be installed in some flats to attach the external scaffolding, starting again at ground level. Therefore, flats needed to be cleared as quickly as possible to maximize the amount of property that could be recovered, working our way up the tower as the internal acrow props were being installed from the top down. In some cases furniture and other items had to be moved prior to a recovery team arriving because of that essential work. In the flats with acrow props, the space to work in was extremely restricted, and more time was needed to complete recovery of property.



Practical Consideration 3: Water and mould damage

Over 600,000 litres of water were used to extinguish the fire, which consequently resulted in flooding and water damage to flats that did not suffer direct fire damage. Rainwater also entered several flats through the numerous broken windows, further adding to the water damage. Additionally, no electrical power was supplied to the building. Therefore, there was extensive mould damage to personal property which could not be recovered.



Practical Consideration 4: This was an unplanned move

Unlike a planned move, in which people organize and pack their own belongings, a system of inventories and photographs would have to be used to help residents determine which items they wanted as soon possible, which items that they would like held in storage and which items they do not want returned. Therefore, an inventory system that would provide accountability and a basis for creating a database would have to be used. We also had to keep in balance the time required to write an inventory, create a database with photographs (and check them) against the need that the residents would get what was important to them now before taking possession of all their property. We also knew that flats would contain sentimental items (unique to each person) that are not easily replaced and that some items that were recovered would not be wanted, but the definition of what is important to one person and not to the next meant that recovery should focus on collecting as much as possible.

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Recovery of Property from Grenfell Tower



To safely recover your property, Kenyon deployed up to three search and recovery teams to work in Grenfell Tower. Kenyon search and recovery teams are made up of people with variety of backgrounds – including former or retired fire fighters, police officers, scenes of crime officers, anthropologists, archaeologists and photographers. Each team also had an experienced, specially trained team leader. Typically, a team consisted of a team leader and five other people. Teams approached this job with the deep understanding that the actual task is not recover “things,” but to reunite people with items that most likely have significant meaning to them, and to do this with as little disruption as possible.

Kenyon search and recovery team
Kenyon Search and Recovery Team


Prior to beginning the operation on August 1st, the police provided a list of flats, that Kenyon were to enter and recover property from. This list was later expanded as the police cleared more flats. Kenyon completed the last recovery on January 5th. In additional cases, the police have provided to Kenyon the property which they recovered. We expect to receive more property from the police.

The search and recovery teams started with a daily safety briefing, put on their personal protective equipment (PPE) and then after final sign-in for accountability, safety and security, entered Grenfell Tower. For the most part, each team would work in different flats.

For flats that were cleared by Kenyon, upon entering the flat, photos or videos were taken to document the condition of the flat and the placement of items.

Working in pairs, team members would then complete a hand-written basic inventory and systematically pack items into bags and boxes. To protect fragile items, bubble wrap and protective wrapping were used as needed.

empty drawer
Large furniture moved
and checked

The search and recovery teams then counted the number of items placed into each box and completed an inventory sheet, noting where the items were found. For example: Box 329 36 Bedroom 1 wardrobe. 36 items of clothing.

Where possible, items from one area were kept together. For example, items on the surface of a dresser, followed by each drawer being packed. The box numbers would be sequential. Sometimes, work for the day may have stopped mid-way through recovering items from an area. When this happened, the items that you recall as being together on the shelf might have been recovered on different dates and be in non-sequential order (such as box number 4 and box number 329). As previously mentioned, some furniture was already moved to allow for construction access.

Furniture that was too large to be removed from the flats was thoroughly checked, drawers were removed and the furniture piece itself moved from its original location to make sure no property had fallen behind or become stuck between drawers.

Some property was too badly damaged to be recovered, such as items of clothing or bedding that were covered in mould or badly burned with little of the material left. These items were bagged and placed in a central area such as a hallway cupboard for later removal and destruction. The same was done for items that could pose a risk such as foods, liquids (including perfumes and toiletries), unprotected medicine, cosmetics, plastic food containers or other eating utensils. The discretion and judgement of the Team Leaders was utilized in making these decisions. For example, in flats with little damage to belongings, perfumes that were still boxed or intact may have been recovered.

Kenyon inventory sheet
Example of a Kenyon Inventory Sheet


The box was numbered and labelled with the same information written on the inventory sheet.

Additionally, in flats that had fire damage the Kenyon search and recovery team would go through debris that was left from the effects of fire, heat and water to try and recover any property that might be found or located within those areas. In some cases, we found property that was returned to residents.

removing televisions
Televisions were removed
where possible

Where possible, large electronic items, such as televisions, were removed from the walls and transported to our facility in Bracknell. For more information on the concerns about any possible soot or smoke damage please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

In some cases, residents told us about heirloom family furniture pieces. Where possible, those were also recovered and transported to Bracknell.

After all property had been packed and removed, the team leader completed a quality control check, and another set of photographs was taken. Residents can have access to these photographs at any time, either by requesting a CD or memory stick, or through a planned visit to our office in Bracknell.

covered furniture
Large furniture was covered
for protection

Also, at this time, the furniture that was not removed was covered with plastic sheeting, so if it ever becomes possible to retrieve the furniture, it is protected as much as possible.

At the end of the day, the boxes were then loaded on to a dedicated truck and brought back to our warehouse in Bracknell every day. Each flat had a dedicated truck. Additionally, a checklist was created as boxes were loaded onto the truck and re-checked as the boxes were unloaded at the warehouse in Bracknell.

After the trucks departed, Team Members removed and disposed of their protective Tyvek overalls, cleaned their protective gear, and as part of normal processes, were checked for any property, and then signed out of the area and returned to Bracknell.

After recovery work in a flat was considered complete, a final quality control check was made. In a few cases, the residents made us aware of a special request for an heirloom item that may have initially been considered too large to recover. In many cases, Kenyon was able to go back and retrieve those specially requested items on a per-request basis. In some cases, we were not.

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Inventory, Photography and Databasing of Property



As previously mentioned in the Practical Considerations section, an inventory system, database and photographs would be used. This system is to assist people in choosing which items they need now and determine what other items they would prefer held in storage.

To accomplish this process, all property recovered by Kenyon was transported from the Grenfell Tower to Kenyon's secure warehouse in Bracknell. This warehouse, specifically organized for the receipt, management and storage of property of disaster victims, has been used during recent incidents such as the Manchester Bombing and Germanwings plane crash. It is a secure facility with CCTV. Multiple onsite security officers are present during non-operational hours.

The warehouse is organized into different areas: Holding Area, Working Area, Storage Area, Requested Items Area and Delivery Area. The Working Area is divided into areas for inventory, photography, cleaning and data management. The storage area has rows of shelves for boxes of personal property and other defined areas for the storage of larger items such as mirrors and televisions. There are also multiple safes to safeguard small valuables.

The Kenyon Team Members performing these tasks are people who come from a variety of professional backgrounds in the crisis management or disaster areas. They may be funeral directors, former scenes of crime officers, former law enforcement or firefighters, ex-military, retired military people, people in logistics, data management, forensic specialists, archaeologists, anthropologists, people who not only understand science but have been trained to understand the importance of what they are doing so that we know as we go through these things, no matter how long it may take, or how many items there may be in an inventory, that these items may be the only property that a person whose life has faced incredible disruption is getting back.

Residents are allowed to visit the Bracknell facility. Police officials and other government officials have also made frequent visits.

Kenyon warehouse
Kenyon warehouse facility in Bracknell



Arrival of Property

As your property arrives, it is placed in a holding area dedicated to items from that flat. Using a checklist that was created during the site recovery, the boxes are verified as they are unloaded at the warehouse.



Step 1. Inventory

An inventory team of two people collects a completed search and recovery inventory sheet and locates the associated box or bag from the holding area (or safe). They check the details on the label and the details on the search and recovery inventory sheet to make sure the contents match.

These items are then removed from the box/bag and described. Due to time constraints and the sheer volume of items, we balance detail with the need for speed. Items are “grouped” based on the micro-location from where they were recovered. For example, the bedside cabinet, drawer 1 may have money, paperwork, phone and jewellery. The inventory sheet would read: 36 Misc. Items from Drawer 1, Bedside Cabinet.

Grouped items are described with details of one item that stands out and allows the item to be easily recognized from the photograph: such as 33 items including large pink teddy bear.

Once the box/bag is empty of items, they are placed in a basket along with the warehouse personal effect (PE) inventory sheet, and are now ready for the next step: photography.

inventory sheet
Example of Kenyon Inventory Sheet

inventory team photo queue
Kenyon Inventory Team conducts inventory and places items in photography queue



Step 2: Photography

There are two people in each photography team. One who is ‘clean’ and operates the camera. The other retrieves the basket and lays out the contents on the photography table. A photo board is completed with the information from the warehouse PE Inventory sheet (flat number and item number) and placed alongside the items. Two photographs are taken – one with the board, and one without.

The items are then repackaged and placed carefully into a numbered box. Fragile items are protected by bubble wrap. The box number is noted on the warehouse PE inventory sheet. When the box is full it is moved to the storage area. The shelf number for the box is noted and entered into the database.

photography team photo team
Kenyon Photography Team arranges items and takes detailed photos



Step 3: Database

The data team updates the database with information from the inventory sheets. Originals are filed into the relevant case files.

database example

database example
Database examples



Step 4: Database and Photo Matching

Once the inventory for a flat is complete and has been entered on the database, the photos are uploaded to a dedicated computer and saved by item number. The copy without the photo board is saved as the same item number in a different folder and checked against the database description. The photo quality is also checked at this time.

Once this long but necessary process is complete, the photographs and database can be saved to a compact disc (CD), which can then be sent to the resident. In some cases, residents were provided with a partial inventory. This was to enable them to receive a portion of their specifically requested items as quickly as possible.

database matching team
Database and photo matching team



Key Points

Items that arrived wet, such as paper or clothes, were laid out to dry. This could take several days.

We don't clean items at this stage. Cleaning is done when you have told us what you would like back and how you would like it back.

If you received a partial inventory, you may have called us and told us you are missing items. However, because we had only given you a partial inventory, not all of your property was in the database at the time. The items you believe to be missing may not be on the inventory yet.

Throughout this process, we have stopped in the middle of a flat inventory to look for specific items that residents have requested.



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Return and Storage of Residents' Property



Requesting your items

We do understand that it has been many months since the fire and you may be anxious to know your property has been recovered. This is, however, a lengthy, detailed and time consuming process for what we believe is in excess of 750,000 items of recovered property. So we are asking for your continued patience. We ask that residents allow us to complete the processing and inventory and wait for their CD of photographs before requesting items (which have an item number and can easily be located in the warehouse). Once residents have received their photographs (at the end of the Database and Photo Matching process), they will be able to see all of the items we have from their flat, and should be able to identify any special items.

Once residents have looked through the photographs and the inventory, they can provide us the item numbers they wish to be cleaned (or not cleaned) and returned. The data management team uses these numbers to create a ‘picking list’ and a team then locates these items in the warehouse. Please note that items returned “not cleaned” may pose a risk or hazard to you. Please see the Additional Information section for more information.

The items are removed from their place of storage and brought to the requested items processing area which is segregated by flat number.

Throughout this process, residents have been calling to request specific items which they need urgently. These items were prioritized. If the inventory had not been completed, each of the boxes/bags needed to be opened and the item(s) requested searched for before being sent for cleaning. On a number of occasions, these hand-picked items were returned back to us upon delivery to the resident because the resident had nowhere to store them.

picking list example
Example of a "picking list"



Step 1: Cleaning

All items are professionally cleaned in-house, unless requested by the resident or if very specialist cleaning is needed. We have done this on several occassions.

Following any fire, there is always a natural concern about getting your property back, and then if you get back, is it safe? Kenyon follows the best practice standards developed from previous experiences, research, and reports from groups like Public Health UK when cleaning and returning your items. This includes the use of standard and specialist cleaning agents, hand or machine washing, wiping, soaking, scrubbing, and air or tumble drying. During this process items are segregated by flat number to ensure no mixing of items occurs. We have also created a more detailed explanation of what causes the potential types of contamination and how we treat them. You can find this document along with copies of documents produced by various worldwide organizations in the Additional Information section.

The cleaning of items can take several days, especially for items that suffered direct smoke or soot damage. However, we are fairly successful in getting property cleaned.

The cleaning team will proceed to clean the items and package them into delivery boxes. The picking sheet is updated with delivery box number and returned to the database team for updating into the database.

cleaning personal effects cleaning personal effects
cleaning and drying area drying area
Cleaning and drying processes and areas



Step 2: Quality Control

The delivery boxes are placed in the QC area.

Once a delivery has been arranged with a resident, and all prior processes have been completed, the QC team is provided with a quality control list which details the boxes to be checked along with the item numbers that should be in the box. The QC team goes through the box, checking each item to ensure the quality of cleaning and that the items match the list provided.

When complete, each box is sealed and signed and moved to the delivery area.

quality control area quality control area
Quality control processes



Step 3: Delivery

A delivery pack is created for each delivery. This includes a list of items to be returned (and details which box these items are in). The delivery is made. Upon completion of delivery, we are asking residents to sign a delivery receipt for our records.

We understand that the return of your property could be a very difficult process. Therefore, in many cases, we have and are willing to sit with you while you go through your property to make sure it is what you want back at this time.

Additionally, it may be easier for you to travel to Bracknell, a simple train journey from London, to go through items and make a decision at that time. You must simply let us know so we can schedule time with you.

Items returned to residents will be updated on the database with relevant information to allow us to keep track of what items have been delivered and those that remain in storage.



Step 4: Storage and Destruction of Unwanted Property

Items that residents are not ready to receive are held in secure storage in Bracknell.

Items that residents do not want back or have returned because they have changed their minds are also held at Bracknell. When this process is complete, our normal operations are to destroy these items.

The only way to completely destroy these items is through incineration. We understand how distressing this will be to you. However, any other method will not result in the complete destruction of the property you do not want back. This is the method we use in all events, even ones including fire.

The reason we hold the property until the process is complete, even if you have told us you do not want it, is because some of you may change your minds, as has already happened.



Key Points

Throughout this process, residents have been calling to request specific items which they need urgently. These items were prioritized. If the inventory had not been completed, each of the boxes/bags needed to be opened and the item(s) requested searched for before being sent for cleaning. On a number of occasions, these hand-picked items were returned back to us upon delivery to the resident because the resident had nowhere to store them.

Despite the best cleaning efforts possible, some clothing and paper items may still have an odour of smoke or mould.

Paper items may continue to degrade over time, as well as have a strong odour of mould, which could bother those with sensitive allergies. You may wish to scan or photograph those items and dispose of them.

In some cases, residents had significant jewellery items stored in cases or drawers that suffered significant fire damage, and all that is left is condensed metal. We have been able to x-ray and document that so residents may be able to submit insurance claims for those valuable items. This is, of course, if we were able to recover the case or drawer.

Jewellery that has been recovered and claimed is being cleaned by specialists utilizing multiple tools and means. However, we are not restoring jewellery through repair or replacement. Those claims will be managed through the council.

Digital and electrical items which contain a circuit board (things that have programs) may work initially, but may deteriorate more quickly than items not exposed to smoke and soot. Additionally, audio quality may be reduced. Things that were protected by closed boxes or wrapped in plastic may not be affected by smoke or soot.

While it would be nice to test to all electrical items, not all tests will reveal damage. Further we don’t have passcodes to things like phones, tablets and computers, nor in many cases power leads.

We can clean the outside of the items, but not the inside, where the circuit boards and more sensitive wiring is located and where much of the damage occurs. The soot is attracted to these wires/boards and causes corrosion and other effects which cannot always be seen by the naked eye and can affect the functionality of the item.

Therefore, we recommend that when these items are returned to you transfer data as soon as possible and replace all effected items.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Are my items contaminated?

    Kenyon follows the best practice standards developed from previous experiences, research, and reports from groups like Public Health UK and various worldwide organizations when cleaning and returning your items. This includes the use of standard and specialist cleaning agents, hand or machine washing, wiping, soaking, scrubbing, and air or tumble drying, which means those items are safe. We have also created a more detailed explanation of what causes the potential types of contamination and how we treat them. You can find this information in the Additional Information section. Our teams wear personal protective equipment in the tower because we are kicking up soot and dust. We need helmets and steel-toed shoes because we are working in a high risk area, Tyvek suits and respirators because of the ash, soot and irritants that we are going through as we are recovering the property, and for protection from mould.

    Our teams wear personal protective equipment in the tower because we are kicking up soot and dust. We need helmets and steel-toed shoes because we are working in a high risk area, Tyvek suits and respirators because of the ash, soot and irritants that we are going through as we are recovering the property, and for protection from mould.


  • 2. Why can't you find my item?

    It might not be in the database yet or it might be part of a grouped item, in which case you would need to describe it to us so we can look through the photographs if you haven’t already received the photos. It can take some time to go through the photographs.

    It might be a flat that not only did Kenyon do a recovery in, but the also police did a recovery in, and they might have the item.

    It may have been an item that was too badly damaged by fire or the resultant water and time that it could not be recovered.


  • 3. Why weren't all my items recovered?

    Some items were not recovered due to size constraints – because of the need to limit the items that could be moved into stairwells to be safely removed such as large items.

    We had to leave items with mould and water or fire damage or those with almost nothing left because of the fire. Likewise, food and open bottles of liquid could not be removed.


  • 4. Why is this taking so long?

    When we began the recovery operation on 01 August, the speed was directed by the number of people we could place in the tower safely.

    The total number of people (across all teams from Kenyon to police and construction teams) who could safely work in the tower was limited. The number of days that we could work were also limited. There were days work wasn’t done because of high wind, inclement weather or to allow for site visits for families.

    The warehouse process is a defined process. We have in excess of half a million to around 750,000 personal property items – significant things, your belongings that we brought out of the tower, that we are going through and inventorying. At the same time we are inventorying, we are trying to return those things that you want or need right now, and it takes time to process. We are sorry for that.


  • 5. What happens to the items I don't want?

    Through this process, we will need to know from you: which items you want right now, which items you want us to store until you have a new home, if/how you want those items cleaned, and which items you will never want returned to you. If you have communicated to us that there are items you don’t want returned to you, we are going to hold them until the end of the process.

    After this process is complete, we will schedule destruction of those times that you do not want.

    The typical destruction process is that the items are taken to a secure industrial incinerator. We divide the items into the different materials to comply with the environmental laws and then we destroy them so that there is no residue. If you say that you don’t want those items, what we are telling you is that we will make sure that they are completely and professionally destroyed. When that process is complete, we will be issued a certificate of destruction.

    We are sorry to have to mention how these will be destroyed, because we know that for some of you this will be very distressful, but there is no other way for us to accomplish that.


  • 6. Why can't you bring in more people to speed up the process?

    We couldn’t bring more people into the tower due to limitations on how many people could work in the tower with the other teams due to health and safety concerns.

    The warehouse facility also has limitations. The teams working in our warehouse are trained and there is a process. If more people are brought in, there is nowhere to put them. Therefore, we have to ask for your patience, because adding more people will not make it go faster, it will create an opportunity for mistakes.


  • 7. Who are the people working on this?

    Kenyon is a company that started 1906 and has responded to disasters worldwide. Its full-time staff is less than 25 people. We are made up of part-time people, associates and Team Members.

    The majority of people working in this project are Team Members. Team Members are people who come from a variety of professional backgrounds in the crisis management or disaster area. We have deployed Team Members to plane crashes, bombings, terrorist events and natural disasters.

    These are people who are retired or take leave from their jobs. They can be funeral directors, scenes of crime officers, former law enforcement or firefighters, ex-military, retired military people, people in logistics, data management, forensic specialists, archaeologists, anthropologists, people who not only understand science but have been trained to understand the importance of what they are doing so that we know as we go through these things, no matter how tedious it may seem, or how many items there may be in an inventory, that it may be the only property that a person whose life has faced incredible disruption is getting back.


  • 8. How do I know what items were left in the flat?

    Inventories were not completed for items that were left in the flat. To do this would have made the process even longer.

    Videos or photos were taken of before and after, so you can see what we didn’t take out. It may take a little bit of work to go through the pictures and we are sorry for that.


  • 9. What is the condition of the items being returned to me?

    Part of that depends on how you would like it returned to you. Some people will just want it washed to remove the smoke.

    Every effort is made to remove soot and the smell of smoke from your items, but unfortunately, some items may continue to smell even after they have been cleaned.

    Some items were damaged by fire directly and burnt beyond repair. Some items were damaged by smoke and some by water and mould.

    On this website, you will see some pictures of the teams at work, showing how they are cleaning these items, the chemicals they use. This is a professional process. These are detailed, time-consuming processes, hence the time it is taking to complete.

    We separated papers that were stuck together, and dried them. But if they were fused together or if the words were smeared because of the water, this is how they will remain.


  • 10. What should I do with electronic items?

    As some of you have already seen, when we returned electronic items to you, you were asked to sign a waiver form. We have since stopped this practice because it wasn’t meeting the intended purpose.

    The purpose was to tell you that electronics are very sensitive. An item with a simple motor that was covered and not damaged is likely OK. An item that has a processing card or computer chip is probably not going to be OK. So even if your flat didn’t suffer fire damage, it may have had smoke or soot, which would have gotten into the vents on the electronic item and affected those materials. We have published some documents on the effects of soot and smoke, and what they tell us is that the affected item probably won’t function as you would like it to. We don’t know when it is not going to work, or how long it is going to work, or how it won’t work, but the empirical evidence is that the smoke and soot affects the circuitry. If it is a data item, we would encourage you to receive it, get your data recovered if you can, transfer it to a new device and file an insurance claim for the other device. If it’s a TV, we would encourage you not to take it, and just let us hold it for destruction and file an insurance claim.


  • 11. Explain site visit by resident to claim property.

    You may have visited your property with the police and a team of Kenyons to recover some of your property. Some of you may not have done that. We want to make sure that people understand that those were visits that were undertaken to allow residents to go into their flat under police escort to try to get things that they wanted right then and there and to see their flat.


  • 12. What happens to cash and jewellery?

    Cash, if it has been damaged and we have recovered it, it will be returned to you. Depending on the amount of damage, you can take it to a local bank to have it exchanged if possible.

    For jewellery, we are returning it to you in the best condition that we can return it in. We also need your feedback so that if you have items that you knew were stored in a certain place that you’re pretty sure was damaged by fire, you can request an x-ray. We won’t know to x-ray everything and we don’t x-ray everything because of the time it takes. If you need documentation for insurance claims, we can provide photographs or x-rays where available as requested.


  • 13. How do I know that the items I don't want will be destroyed as promised?

    For those items that people don’t request, we are sometimes asked to prove that the item has been destroyed. The industrial destruction company we use has a secure site that has done work for Kenyon for several years. Following destruction of the items, the company along with Kenyon will attest to and issue a certificate of destruction, which is certainly available to you if you would like it.




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Closing Remarks



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Additional Information




The Grenfell Recovery Task Force

Organizational Chart
Grenfell Recovery Task Force



Questions About Possible Contamination and Cleaning

It is important to understand, items that were too contaminated or damaged by the fire, or posed a risk such as food, liquids, unprotected medicines, cosmetics, and eating utensils, were not recovered and were left in the flats. With regard to the property recovered, there are three broad groups of potential contamination along with concerns about electrical items.

1. Mould. Over 600,000 litres of water were used to extinguish the fire. This, along with the rain that entered the flats, temperatures and moist air in general, resulted in an ideal environment for mould growth. As you know, mould can be very dangerous to those with comprised or developing immune systems.

To treat for mould, everything but paper can be cleaned and disinfected. We completed a surface cleaning of those items that you asked to be cleaned. Cleaning products used to do this are readily available. For paper products, the items must be dried. However, even after drying the items, some mould may be left, and therefore, we recommend those items such as personal documents, letters and photographs be scanned, and the digital copies kept, and the originals disposed of.

2. By products of the fire, such as smoke and soot. The smoke was created during the fire by the burning of the building and its contents. The soot is what is left behind.

To treat items that still smell of smoke, we washed or dry-cleaned them. This may include multiple washings or dry-cleanings. For items that have soot (which is residue from incomplete combustion), the item must be cleaned to remove the soot. This is a detailed and time-consuming process. The method for cleaning depends on the item. Typically, we use both common household cleaners and specialist cleaning products. It is important to know which cleaning method to use in order to avoid the cleaning process causing more damage than the soot. When cleaning, because of the soot and cleaning agents, we wear a Tyvek protective suit, gloves and (if the cleaning agent produces odours) a face mask.

3. Debris. Debris from parts of the building that did not burn but were damaged created a coating of particles on surrounding objects. This could come from building materials such as concrete and insulation.

For items that have particles, the item must be cleaned to remove the particles. This is very similar to removing soot, however, it is not as time consuming because we are simply removing the “dust” resting on the surface, not residue attached to the surface. The method for cleaning depends on the item. Typically, this requires both common household cleaners and specialist cleaning products.

4. Electronics. Digital and electrical items which contain a circuit board (things that have programs) may work initially but may deteriorate more quickly than items not exposed to smoke and soot and discharge dust that settled in the vents. Additionally, audio quality may be reduced. Things that were protected by closed boxes or wrapped in plastic may not be affected by smoke or soot.

While it would nice to test to all electrical items, not all tests will reveal damage. Further we don’t have passcodes to things like phones, tablets and computers.

We cleaned the outside of the items, but not the inside, where the circuit boards and more sensitive wiring is located and where much of the damage occurs. The soot is attracted to these wires/boards and causes corrosion and other effects, which cannot always be seen by the naked eye and can affect the functionality of the item.

Therefore, we recommend that when these items are returned to you transfer data as soon as possible and replace all effected items.



Best Practice Standards

Best Practice Standards are published by multiple government agencies worldwide. These standards tell people how to clean their items and steps to take following a fire. These standards along with professional expertise of our Team Members, our extensive experience and our own research were applied.

In addition to the UK based services, these worldwide reports will provide additional information:

1. After a Fire - Returning Home. By Interior Health Canada, one of the publicly funded government health authorities

2. Returning home after a fire. Published by the Northern Territory Government Information and services.

3. What To Do About dust and Smoke From Fires. Published by Healthy Building Science – private US based industrial hygienists, clean building design and environment consultants.

4. Cleaning after Fire. Published by Healthy Building Science – private US based industrial hygienists, clean building design and environment consultants.

5. Technical Documentation. The dangers and effects of Smoke, Soot, Moisture and Mould following fire. This document was produced by Kenyon and is based on review of 17 separate and independent studies. Please follow the link below to download the full paper and reference sources.

download Effects of Soot Damage to Electronic Items following Fire



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