PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

London Tower Block Blaze
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> News
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1452

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: London Tower Block Blaze Reply with quote

There has been a fierce fire in a tower block in Kensington - and there reports of "a number of fatalities"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-london-40239008

Before going on any further, there was a very damning report into KCTMO who are the managing agents of Grenfell Tower:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/
_________________
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools - Douglas Adams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5264
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too early to say, but death toll is likely to exceed that from terrorism in the UK for the last ten years combined.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is most concerning.
In the UK, residential tower blocks have a good fire safety record if compared to houses.

Fire safety is meant to be "designed in" and not subject to the vagaries of any suspect managing agent that may be later appointed.

The theory is that the structure is intended to be both non combustible and fire resistant. Nothing can prevent fire breaking out in one flat, and the occupants of that flat being in peril.
However the fire resisting construction is INTENDED to confine the fire to the flat in which it started, with almost no risk to those in other flats.

To limit the risk to those in the flat where the fire started, rules exist regarding self closing internal fire doors, and also limits on the maximum distance from any part of the flat to the exit.
An alternative approach in some designs is an emergency escape route via the next flat, often via a shared balcony and glass doors that may be broken if life is at risk.
Many, perhaps most, tenants defeat the internal fire doors and thereby increase the risks to their own lives. However the basic design of the structure SHOULD still confine the fire to one flat.
This was not the case, news reports clearly show multiple floors and large areas ablaze.

Having exited the flat on fire, escape from the block is meant to be easy and very low risk via protected stairways that contain no ignition sources, nothing that can burn, and are separated from each dwelling by duplicated fire resisting doors.
One might perhaps suspect the dumping of flammable refuse, the storage of belongings on escape routes, and the wedging open of self closing fire doors.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5264
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The live updates at the guardian document of truly horrific incompetence and graft in the lead up to this fire. It is our class divide writ large,. Where there was overwhelming evidence of risk, no attempt at mitigation, and incompetent upgrade to the cladding which seems to have removed fire breaks during installation then presumably failed to replace them. A Tory minister discouraged mandating sprinklers years ago because it would cost the builders too much. The fire alarms didn't work and the evacuation standing orders were to stay put and get fried. Not helped by the only fire staircase being too narrow to allow rapid evacuation of all residents.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1452

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grenfell Tower was recently cladded, by the looks of things, with external insulation. There was the usual fluff piece in the local rag:

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/north-kensington-estate-benefits-10m-11329924

In light of the events of earlier this morning, Rydon, along with KCTMO, have many awkward questions to answer. From what I have been hearing, along with Ralph's and Adam's comments, they should be facing a criminal investigation.

A complete overhaul of the whole system may be necessary after this morning's tragic events.
_________________
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools - Douglas Adams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clv101
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 7632

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems that residential tower blocks are particularly soft targets for terrorists. Rent a flat, build a particularly intense bonfire and walk way... if two or three were coordinated in the same city the impact would be truly horrific. Shocked
_________________
PowerSwitch on Facebook | The Oil Drum | Twitter | Blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to worry. I feel certain the encircling building developers will be able to see a silver lining in all of this.

The surviving residents will, no doubt, need to be rehoused somewhere more suited to their status. Meanwhile, the site can be rebuilt with a building more in keeping with the local area and so will, henceforth, attract commensurate rents in future.

You see, there's always an upside in this brave, new, free-wheeling capitalist world of ours if one is just prepared to look hard enough.


Last edited by Little John on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears this building was recently re-clad in aluminium composite panels so that the residents of the luxury flats nearby did not have such an unpleasant view from their windows because, of course, the eyes of the rich must not be disturbed.

These panels, due to having air cavities and combustible insulation behind them, were apparently instrumental in acting as a flue and so making the fire spread much more rapidly than would have been otherwise the case.

Meanwhile, the building had no sprinklers and fire safety guards that were removed during the facelift were not replaced.

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire-refurbishment-studio-e-architects-rydon-london-uk-news/


Last edited by Little John on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see the world burn right now. This is a class war. It's always been a class war.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4269
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Seems that residential tower blocks are particularly soft targets ....

Post such as this make me cringe. Every thinking person will already had the same thought so the only persons served are the unthinking which lack inspiration. Better to let such things go unsaid on public forums where you don't know who is reading your posts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4269
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little John wrote:
It appears this building was recently re-clad in aluminium composite panels so that the residents of the luxury flats nearby did not have such an unpleasant view from their windows because, of course, the eyes of the rich must not be disturbed.

These panels, due to having air cavities and combustible insulation behind them, were apparently instrumental in acting as a flue and so making the fire spread much more rapidly than would have been otherwise the case.

Meanwhile, the building had no sprinklers and fire safety guards that were removed during the facelift were not replaced.

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire-refurbishment-studio-e-architects-rydon-london-uk-news/

Major fires have often brought about revisions in building codes to prevent recurrences and loss of life. Building set backs to allow firemen to get between them with trucks and hoses, brick exterior walls and fire proof roofing materials and sprinkler requirements for any building taller then a ladder truck can reach are all useful codes that cities have put in place after major disasters. Why flammable exterior panels were allowed on this building is beyond comprehension and why a company would even make such a product is a mystery.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adam2
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6209
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Death toll now stated as 17 confirmed, it is feared that more victims are yet to be found.

The Prime Minister has announced that a full public inquiry is to be held into the disaster, correctly IMHO.

The need or not for a public inquiry should not be determined only by the number of lives lost. Just as relevant IMO is how unexpected the event was.

As an illustrative example, I see no need for a public inquiry into a major road accident with say 20 lives lost. The risks of road transport are well understood, and the odd fatal accident is accepted as one of those things.

This fire is different. Until it occurred, residential tower blocks in the UK had a good fire safety record.
The accepted policy of structural design containing fire to a small area actually worked very well until yesterday.
The advice to remain in the flat in case of fire elsewhere in the block, was also correct until yesterday.
Over many decades, numerous minor fires HAVE broken out, and hundreds of people have survived by remaining in place as advised.

I hope that the inquiry does NOT concentrate unduly on the cause of the fire. It must be accepted that fires happen, and that determining the cause of this one is probably of little relevance.

The real issue is to determine why the fire spread so rapidly and engulfed most of the block.
Simple observation suggests that the recently applied cladding was almost certainly a factor.
So was unsuitable material specified ?
Or was the material specified as being suitable, but was in fact fake ? and not fire resisting when claimed to be.
How was the cladding fixed, some reports suggest timber battens were used.

Another cause for concern was the new communal heating system recently installed. How many holes were made and not properly fire stopped ?
Were holes sealed with approved fire rated mastic sold for the purpose, or with what the "cheapest bid builder" had in the van or purchased on fleabay.

I consider it likely that the findings of the enquiry will include requiring the retrofitting of sprinklers to existing tower blocks.
Though other types of housing are not directly relevant to the public enquiry, it will bring forward the day when sprinklers are required in all or almost new builds, as is already the case in Wales.
_________________
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A politician, in desperate need of a photo-op, meets fire service officials.

Meanwhile, a human being meets and comforts survivors and promises them personally that the truth will come out.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4269
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little John wrote:
A politician, in desperate need of a photo-op, meets fire service officials.

Meanwhile, a human being meets and comforts survivors and promises them personally that the truth will come out.


Are they not both politicians as well as human beings and are not both of them promising the same complete investigation of the truth?
Fire safety is not a liberal vs. conservative issue.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boris Johnson explaining that cutting fire services saves lives, and then telling the people who are calling his bullshit out to "get stuffed":

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/14/video-boris-johnson-telling-fire-safety-panel-get-stuffed-grenfell/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> News All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 1 of 9

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group