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Old 15th Jun 2017, 11:21   #81 (permalink)
 
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Having had a new office built, I experienced painfully what VP describes - the "independent" experts called in to adjudicate disputes changed the facts (= lied) to support the builder, or they would not have got any further contracts.
Also the whole concept of "self certification" is a farce - the builder certified correct operation of electrical devices which had not even been connected to the mains.
All of which diverted much time and effort from the primary task for which the new office was built.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 11:49   #82 (permalink)
 
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I have read this morning the fire started in a kitchen appliance. When the fire was discovered by the occupant, belongings were bagged up then off out the door, before the first alarm was raised when he/she banged on the next door neighbour's flat.

If the above is true, then it's self preservation at it's best.

I'm sure that individual will be up for a gong before too long, for services to the community or someother such tripe.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 11:50   #83 (permalink)
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Too many of the all encompassing Regs are open to interpretation. I have had a long running conflict with British Gas over an installation that they installed but which they now say is non-compliant with current Regs. In fact it was non-compliant the day their contractor installed it. Took them 19 years to spot one error. The other complaint is "new" I showed him the Regs and said "show me." Still waiting.

An independent engineer can see nothing wrong.

Simply the Regs can be manipulated to lower the cost of installation and raise the charge for repair and maintenance.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 11:55   #84 (permalink)
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DB, there was the astute observation #48, what was in the fridge to cause such a conflagration?
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 11:59   #85 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post

I notice our glorious leader Mrs may exhibited exactly this kind of behaviour today making a brief 'private' visit to the scene of the crime (because that it surely is) because she knew full well what the people on the streets would have to say to her face .
You know perfectly well these such visits in the aftermath of a disaster are just gesture politics...and the only reason they go is for some reasons now the media etc now "expects" our politicans to show empathy with the plebs or so some such rubbish by turning up and nodding wisely.
In reality the arrivals of the politicians from any party is the last thing anyone actually sorting the situation on the ground wants.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:14   #86 (permalink)
 
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DB, there was the astute observation #48, what was in the fridge to cause such a conflagration?
Firstly, we don't know for sure that it was a fridge, that's based on a report from someone who was in the building, I believe, and may not be accurate.

However, some self-defrosting, or frost free, fridge freezer have caused fires. The was a nasty house fire in Devon a short time ago, where a fridge freezer that happened to be under the stairs of a house caught fire in the middle of the night and burned through the staircase, with the occupants having to escape via a first floor window. At least one manufacturer has released a warning about one of their products in this category: https://refsafety.beko.co.uk/
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:14   #87 (permalink)
 
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Only yesterday, I remarked to her indoors that Swansea Council will be going like hell with inspections etc... Today I read that Swansea residents received this by hand within hours... The last para is interesting.

Quote:
The letter states:

• All of the council’s high-rise blocks have a hard-wired smoke detector in each flat which is tested annually as part of the gas service inspection.

• All communal areas have a full annual risk assessment carried out by the council and the fire service to ensure all blocks are to the highest standard and that any issues identified are addressed immediately.

• Neighbourhood officers regularly inspect blocks to ensure any combustible materials and hazards are removed from communal areas.

• All residents have been provided with a leaflet on fire safety in high-rise flats which contains important advice on what to do in the event of a fire.

Completed and on-going refurbishment projects at blocks of high-rise flats in Swansea have only used non-combustible cladding and fixing frames. These works were subject to detailed inspection and approval by the council’s building control department.
They MAY have been able to respond so quickly due to the fact that the Council maintains a large Building Control department, and do most or all of the inspections involving external tenders. God help them if they've got it wrong.

CG
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:15   #88 (permalink)
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If a fully integrated alarm and fire suppression system was installed as in a cruise ship with 6,000 people, it would need regular testing. If the alarm sounded would people in a tower block obey orders to evacuate, especially if there had been previous false alarms?

Quite likely that local toe rags would set off alarms to see what happens.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:19   #89 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
Only yesterday, I remarked to her indoors that Swansea Council will be going like hell with inspections etc... Today I read that Swansea residents received this by hand within hours... The last para is interesting.

They MAY have been able to respond so quickly due to the fact that the Council maintains a large Building Control department, and do most or all of the inspections involving external tenders. God help them if they've got it wrong.

CG
The majority of large developers and construction companies won't use Local Authority Building Control (which is now a trading business, anyway, not a taxpayer funded service) but will use private building control companies with whom they have long-term contracts.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:20   #90 (permalink)
 
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yes visits by royals and politics are gesture politics but turning up out of sight for a few minutes isnt even much of a gesture.

There are times when leaders have to do a bit of real leading and this was one of them, if she didnt fancy it stay in No 10 (but not for long)
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:24   #91 (permalink)
 
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The majority of large developers and construction companies won't use Local Authority Building Control (which is now a trading business, anyway, not a taxpayer funded service) but will use private building control companies with whom they have long-term contracts.
Mmmm, bit like the big finance houses paying millions for the audits they want from other big finance houses then.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:35   #92 (permalink)
 
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P N

DB, there was the astute observation #48, what was in the fridge to cause such a conflagration?





Some refridgarents are highly inflammable and have caused many fires and explosions.

Avoiding Fridge Freezer Fires - UK Fire Training

The cause of a fire is nearly always the same. Failure of an electric switch, controlling the defrost / freeze function results in a small fire developing at the base on the back of the item. This quickly ignites the insulation materials around it (often polystyrene and plastic based). The refrigerant gas may then become involved. In fridge/freezers over 3 years old the refrigerant gas is Pentane, which is both a flammable and explosive gas. In newer domestic models, the refrigerant gas is most likely to be Propane, again a flammable and explosive gas.

Propane is now beginning to be used in commercial designated models. A common indicator that a unit may be at risk from a fire is the malfunction of the defrost and freeze facilities. This will present itself in the unit constantly freezing up or being unable to maintain a freezing temperature.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:42   #93 (permalink)
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Individual alarms are OK to protect the occupants of dwellings subject to fire (and smoke), but the occupants of the 20th - 24th floors won't be aware of fires in the flats below until the smoke permeates under their doors, by which time their escape route could be an inferno or completely smoke-logged.

If someone had taken the initiative to evacuate the complete Grenfell building when the fire took hold there would be more survivors.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:51   #94 (permalink)
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Although I'm in aviation and nothing to do with building regulations, I can imagine what went on in the back rooms when the refurbishment was being planned.

At the moment I am under extreme pressure from a customer and their suppliers of an aircraft modification that is not yet approved by EASA. Without the official regulators' approval, the work cannot be completed and certified in compliance with an approved procedure: the aircraft cannot then be released and remains grounded until EASA do issue their approval. [Being a Euro-organization they do not do things quickly].

We are being pressed to commence work by Friday with a promise from the suppliers that they will get the EASA approval before the aircraft is due back in service. "Fine" I say... "but the risk involved in not getting the approval in time is all yours, not ours". They're still trying to get us to start on the work but my heels are firmly dug in. No approval, work will not begin.

This is how people are put under pressure to do things that are not in accordance with the rules. Some people are for various reasons, unable or unwilling to resist. They simply have to 'bring home the bacon' and can't afford to walk away from a bad job. The world needs lots more grumpy old gits like me who don't give a damn for pressure: it gets done right or not at all.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:55   #95 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
The last thing we want is a Public Inquiry and we need the politicians to stay well out of it. Corbyn has already started suggesting a government cover-up and a suppression of a "dodgy dossier". It is fair that the public are part of the process and informed if the findings but they should not be the drivers, nor should lawyers or politicians. All are grossly unfit for this task. We also have to face the truth problem. If we are to find out what really happened, we need the witnesses to be able to speak freely. But if there is the slightest chance of prosecution they will not say a word. Would you? So someone needs the legal authority to grant certain levels of immunity. Easier said than done.

Prevention, protection, detection, suppression and escape are the headings which an entity must now be charged with to prevent reoccurrence. But who should lead it? The HSE only see criminals and victims. I don't believe the London Fire Brigade have the (correct and sufficient) staff to do this and this. This local council has been found lacking and the property management organisations are little more than cleaners and invoice issuers. I'm rapidly running out of people... Call me a cynic but unless a single body is tasked with sorting future fire protection strategies for tower blocks and tall buildings there will be another one.

PM
Guess what?: London fire: Prime minister orders full public inquiry - BBC News
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:58   #96 (permalink)
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It seems likely that the remains of this building will be demolished.

Insurance cover is probably restricted to reinstatement, so the 'owners' will be left with a patch of land (albeit valuable real-estate in itself).
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 13:07   #97 (permalink)
 
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I know that it's pretty common for government-owned assets to be uninsured and to just have indemnity for third parties via an insurance company.

I've no idea whether local authorities also self-insure in this way, but it seems possible that they may. Perhaps one of our local authority people here can clarify policy on this?
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 13:11   #98 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
I know that it's pretty common for government-owned assets to be uninsured and to just have indemnity for third parties via an insurance company.

I've no idea whether local authorities also self-insure in this way, but it seems possible that they may. Perhaps one of our local authority people here can clarify policy on this?
Don't know if London is same, but where I live the council doesn't own any housing stock, it's all private housing associations. Government in general has sold off most of its property to private firms.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 13:40   #99 (permalink)
 
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Makes you wonder how many shredders have been working continuously since the event and how times the "delete" button has been pressed on emails now the enormity of the scale of avarice and managerial incompetence is beginning to surface.
Well, they haven't killed the files of the planning application, which appears to specify an type of insulation that supposedly has Class 0 fire rating. Celotex FR5000 if I recall - which suggests that if properly fitted, that fire should have only affected the flat it broke out in.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 14:09   #100 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
The last thing we want is a Public Inquiry and we need the politicians to stay well out of it. Corbyn has already started suggesting a government cover-up and a suppression of a "dodgy dossier".
If he wants info on a cover-up maybe he could ask his new MP for Kensington, Emma Coad, who was a director of KCTO when the complaints were being made by residents.

Funny he hasn't mentioned that, eh?
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