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Old 4th Aug 2017, 19:11   #921 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Oh dear, another high rise fire in Dubai.
To be fair, I believe it's the same one that caught fire a year or two back.
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 19:50   #922 (permalink)
 
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Going back to the vengance vs justice argument it is of course the whole reason we have a 'rule of law' system . While all too often the law is bent in favour of rich and influential people it is right that people do not go and seek immediate vengance. in an Old testament or Swiss ATCO tragedy sense.

It could certainly be argued that the Council Leader, Portfolio holder and CEO and head of department should have been arrested the following day and released on police bail after a few hours. A lot of countries do that as a normal course of events and it has lot more impact on a middle class exec than the fact he might end up in court ten years after he or she is dead. Arrest them , tell them that ex offico they are a suspect in any potential criminal case and then let them go with firm instructions not to redact all the documents relevant .

Secondly the local Plod should without question have immediately seized the computers of these individuals to stop them being lost damaged etc etc . I do not think that any effort has been made by the authorities to seize electronic mail and archived files from the councils system even now.

failure to do bot h these things does , in the immediate wake of the Hillsborough pronouncements just after the fire does make the whole thing look like it will be covered up from the very start.

We are still slow off the mark with white collar crime in this country-needless to say the idiot who tried to claim compensation and benefits by pretending to be a resident was wheeled into court and dealt with very quickly and horrible though his crime is it is nothing compared to what the real culprits did and they are still as free as birds
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 01:42   #923 (permalink)
 
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It could certainly be argued that the Council Leader, Portfolio holder and CEO and head of department should have been arrested the following day
pax, the only problem is the fact that the material is in world wide use, and widely used. As I stated earlier, in Victoria all tower buildings have used it for the last twenty years, and NSW claims to have 2,500 buildings. Hanging a particular individual out to dry over its use is vigilante justice of the very worse kind. It is obvious that no single individual is to blame, rather systemic issues in the approval process of materials.

We build buildings out of timber, you can't get anything more flammable, do we cease using wood? What about the flammability of furnishings? And the refrigerant that started it all? Back to the old ice box?

What is to be done with the buildings so clad? Where will the billions come from to rectify a now demonstrated deficiency?
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 02:02   #924 (permalink)
 
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To be fair, I believe it's the same one that caught fire a year or two back.
It is, exactly. I attended the original Torch fire back in 2015 as I was staying at the Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites directly across the street. I was aghast when I looked up and saw such a tall building fully involved. Fortunately, no one was hurt then - the hotel handed out blankets and water to some of the displaced residents.

It's crazy to see the exact thing happen again, though I suppose not all that surprising since it's Dubai. It may well be the same thing that happened last time: a lot of people still smoke in Dubai, residents throw their cigarette butts off the balconies all the time, and sometimes the wind takes them to places where they cause damage. The 2015 fire happened during a period of strong hot desert winds, which are great for promoting a small flicker into a large flame. Reportedly a cigarette butt from somewhere blew into a balcony of the Torch and lit up a towel or something.

It's incredible that the building apparently hasn't been upgraded since the fire two years ago as the role of the external cladding was well known at that time, and even more so after the Dubai Address Hotel fire on New Year's eve.
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 06:10   #925 (permalink)
 
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Dubai fire reveals how flaming insulation debris from higher floors can ignite lower floors.

Wonderful stuff!

Mjb
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Old 6th Aug 2017, 05:18   #926 (permalink)
 
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Anyone know if the Dubai tower was one of those that had floors set aside as safe areas in case of fire? these floors were designed to withstand fires by sheltering people, they had higher fire ratings, air supplies which would withstand smoke and fumes etc.

The point that was raised during the design was that there was no way they could get everyone out of the building in time, so it was decided to go this design route and have them assemble in the shelter areas.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 06:30   #927 (permalink)
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London tower blocks residents ordered out over gas safety fears

Hundreds of people have been told they will have to leave their homes on an estate of tower blocks in London after safety checks carried out following the Grenfell Tower fire found the buildings had been at risk of collapse for decades.

In a development with potentially major implications for blocks elsewhere, residents of the Ledbury estate said they were shocked and alarmed to learn that the four 13-storey blocks were at risk of collapse in the event of a gas explosion in one of the flats. Southwark council, which owns the blocks in Peckham, south-east London, has sent a letter to residents of the 242 flats saying they will have to “temporarily decant the blocks over the coming weeks and months” for emergency works. The council has immediately ordered the gas supplies to be cut off, leaving most residents without cooking facilities, hot water and heating. The letter said officials would distribute electric hotplates and that residents could take showers at a local leisure centre.

The discovery that the blocks are structurally unsafe heralds a potential new series of safety worries about high-rise flats, which since the Grenfell Tower blaze have mainly been focused on fire safety, notably flammable cladding. Arnold Tarling, a surveyor and fire safety expert who first spotted the problem at the Ledbury estate, said it was likely there would be many other blocks around the country with similar problems.

The Ledbury blocks were constructed between 1968 and 1970 using a method called large panel system, in which giant concrete sections were bolted together on site. The same technique was used at Ronan Point, a tower block in east London which partly collapsed in 1968 following a gas explosion. Four people died and 17 were injured when a blast from a gas stove in an 18th-storey flat caused a series of floors to collapse on to each other, one of the most notorious public disasters of the era. An investigation said buildings built using the same method must be reinforced, or else have no gas supply. Southwark council, which took over the Ledbury blocks from the former Greater London Council, said it believed they had been strengthened.

After the Grenfell Tower blaze, which killed at least 80 people, worried residents urged action over big cracks in walls between flats on the estate, which they feared could allow a fire to spread through a block. They asked Tarling to check the cracks, but while on the estate he raised parallel concerns about the gas supply, identifying the structure as potentially unsafe. Southwark had already employed engineers Arup to examine the blocks, and on Thursday the council wrote to residents saying its belief that the buildings had been reinforced “may not be correct”. The gas supply was being turned off and locals would be moved out, the letter said. A council spokeswoman said it was not yet known how long residents would need to leave for, as this depended on further surveys.......

Tarling said he was aghast at the safety lapse. “As soon as I walked in and saw the gas supply, I knew it was all wrong,” he said. “Southwark council did not listen to me, and you really have to question their competence.”

In a statement, Southwark’s deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, Stephanie Cryan, said: “We didn’t own the blocks when they were constructed at the end of the 1960s, but all the reports we found suggested the blocks were strengthened following the Ronan Point incident in 1968 to make them safe to include a gas supply. Arup’s structural investigations suggest this strengthening may not have occurred, and we have therefore turned off the gas until further investigations can be done.”.......
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 08:35   #928 (permalink)
 
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Interestingly, the third sample system fire test report from BRE has just been published. This is for the same insulation installation as fitted to Grenfell Tower, but with the external aluminium composite being the type with a fire retardant PE core, rather than the non-FR type used at Grenfell.

It seems that even the fire retardant PE core would have made no difference. The test had to be terminated early, because of the rapid spread of fire up the insulation and the intensity of the flames. The aluminium on the cladding started to melt just over 10 minutes after the test was initiated, indicating that the temperature on the external face was in excess of 660 deg C (the melting point of aluminium).

At around 13 minutes and 30 seconds into the test, around 85% of the lower aluminium composite panels had gone. After about 14 minutes, the aluminium structural subframes, used to attach the cladding started to melt. After just over 25 minutes the test was terminated, due to the intensity of the fire. At this point the entire test wall was burning, with flames appearing above the structure. The test wall had all the correct fire stops, barriers and intumescent strips fitted, as per the manufacturers installation instructions (it's not clear that these fire stops were properly in place at Grenfell Tower, from the drawings that are available).

The link to the test report is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload..._test_no.3.pdf
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 08:53   #929 (permalink)
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Counter-intuitively, that would seem to substantially reduce the probability of an convictions for manslaughter or negligence. If the type of cladding made no difference in the test, the insulation met the specification, and the shops and other preventative items also made no difference - it would seem the major fault lay with the regulations and underlying standards.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 09:06   #930 (permalink)
 
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Counter-intuitively, that would seem to substantially reduce the probability of an convictions for manslaughter or negligence. If the type of cladding made no difference in the test, the insulation met the specification, and the shops and other preventative items also made no difference - it would seem the major fault lay with the regulations and underlying standards.

I'm not sure. There is a great deal of evidence, from long before the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project started, that PIR external wall insulation posed an high spread of fire risk, especially on tall buildings. There had been a number of well-publicised facade fires elsewhere, dating back as far as 1998 (as far as I've been able to find out). We even changed our building regulations in 2005 in order to reflect the spread of fire risk from this type of installation.

The regulations in force at the time that the Grenfell Tower work was planned are clear - adequate measures must be put in place to ensure that the risk of spread of fire from one dwelling to another is minimised. All the evidence from previous fire tests, using PIR insulation bonded to concrete walls, showed that there was a high risk that fire would spread quickly across it, unless it was adequately protected. The manufacturers instructions for the type of PIR insulation used on Grenfell Tower state in the certification that the insulation needs to be covered with a non-combustible cementitious-type board in order to meet the prevention of fire spread regulations. This wasn't done, as far as I can tell from the information that has been made publicly accessible.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 10:36   #931 (permalink)
 
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The regulations in force at the time that the Grenfell Tower work was planned are clear - adequate measures must be put in place to ensure that the risk of spread of fire from one dwelling to another is minimised. All the evidence from previous fire tests, using PIR insulation bonded to concrete walls, showed that there was a high risk that fire would spread quickly across it, unless it was adequately protected. The manufacturers instructions for the type of PIR insulation used on Grenfell Tower state in the certification that the insulation needs to be covered with a non-combustible cementitious-type board in order to meet the prevention of fire spread regulations. This wasn't done, as far as I can tell from the information that has been made publicly accessible.
Of all those other façade fires, how many spread into - and across - the building as severely as Grenfell? Of the few I recall, I seem to think the main issue was the spread outside and material falling onto the surrounding area, but not a significant spread inside.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 10:47   #932 (permalink)
 
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Of all those other façade fires, how many spread into - and across - the building as severely as Grenfell? Of the few I recall, I seem to think the main issue was the spread outside and material falling onto the surrounding area, but not a significant spread inside.
Most just spread up the outside, but several effectively blocked windows and entrances with falling, burning, material, so hampering both escape and the entry of firefighters.

There have been dozens of these fires in the past 20 years or so, with some of the earliest being in countries like Germany, who were early adopters of external wall insulation as a way to reduce energy consumption.

Grenfell Tower was slightly unusual, in that when the windows were replaced during the refurbishment work, they were not properly protected around their periphery, and the new windows were embedded in the PIR insulation layer with only a very thin fire barrier, according to the drawings that I've seen (and copied here earlier). I strongly suspect that this both aided the initial fire to get out of a window and set the insulation alight, and also allowed the fire to gain access to other flats via the window surrounds. The fact that it was warm weather, and some people may have had their windows open, may have been a contributory factor; I'm sure we'll find out more when the enquiry outcome is made public.
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Old 16th Aug 2017, 18:31   #933 (permalink)
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London Fire Brigade advised on Grenfell refurbishment.
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Old 17th Aug 2017, 08:29   #934 (permalink)
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...ests-twjk5s53d

Fire safety tests ordered by the government after the Grenfell Tower disaster have passed flammable materials as being safe for use on high-rise buildings. The most recent test in a series of seven approved the use of the same plastic foam insulation that burnt out of control on the tower in west London and gave off a lethal mix of toxic fumes and black smoke.

Fire safety specialists said yesterday they feared that the programme set up by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, was clearing the way for the continued use of combustible materials on tower blocks and claimed that the tests were an inadequate measure of the risk to high-rise buildings........

Test results published this week by a group appointed by Mr Javid concluded that an aluminium cladding panel with a “limited combustibility filler” alongside polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation “passed and meets current building regulations guidance”. The insulation boards at Grenfell Tower were made of PIR foam. Mr Javid’s advisory group said the combination of the two materials “can be compliant with current building regulations when installed and maintained properly”. The combination “could offer a possible solution for some buildings with other cladding systems which have been identified as a fire hazard”.

The test was conducted at the Building Research Establishment, which last week passed another combination of a cladding panel with a polyethylene core alongside a non-combustible insulation. The panels at Grenfell contained polyethylene, which some experts have described as “solid petrol”.

Jonathan O’Neill, of the Fire Protection Association, said the government-sponsored tests used a “perfectly configured” cladding system on a flat wall that did not have the windows, door openings, vents or other imperfections found on a real building. “The tests do not replicate what happens in the real world and we would like to see more realistic tests being carried out,” he said.

Arnold Dix, an international fire safety investigator, said he feared that the results were a signal Britain would continue to allow the use of flammable materials on tower blocks.
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Old 17th Aug 2017, 10:17   #935 (permalink)
 
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I've read all the BRE reports as they have been published, and it is fair to say that I can't see how they can be taken as being representative of an installation on a building, for some of the reasons given above.

The major risk area with all external wall insulation systems, is around openings - doors and windows mainly. The standard way to reduce the risk of fire getting out of a dwelling and spreading up the outside of a wall to another dwelling is to make sure that there are adequate fire stops in place - non-flammable, sealed, barriers around every opening.

In the case of Grenfell Tower, the cladding seems to have had ventilation gaps around the windows where fire could penetrate into the cavity, and then cause the PIR insulation to combust. Those same ventilation gaps provided a source of oxygen to enable the fire to sustain and grow.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 12:20   #936 (permalink)
 
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The first phase of the enquiry started today and the pathetic bickering continues.

This from Dent-Coad..

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The choice of venue could hardly be less appropriate. We are sitting in a ballroom dripping with opulence and crystal chandeliers, in the middle of London far from the scene of the fire.
It is palpably obvious that she, and those of her persuasion, aren't the slightest bit interested in following well established procedures to find the cause and possible remedies to the disaster. Their only aim is further their own political ambitions by appealing to base emotions and ignorance by way of a witch-hunt. The fools that elected her, deserve her.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 12:42   #937 (permalink)
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Meanwhile the Beeb (on Radio Five) are highlighting the Black Lives Matter aspect including an anecdote about how the black Archbishop of York was accused of being involved in the Stephen Lawrence incident because he happened to stop and enquire about the wellbeing of those involved.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 07:36   #938 (permalink)
 
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Was reported here by a talking head who was supposed to have some knowledge that pound for pound the insulating material has the same energy density as petrol. A cheap quip might be is this where the adage of pouring petrol onto a fire originated?
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Old 3rd Oct 2017, 11:17   #939 (permalink)
 
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A few things are starting to sneak under the floor boards as this event is starting to become old news...

The first is an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Why? Yes, you can stay until you have given evidence and then you can be on the next plane home with your pot of compo cash. There is no need to be anymore generous than that.

Next, my understanding is that Grenfell Tower was comprised of one and two bedroom flats. But the former tenants are now being bought larger houses. Why? Yes, these people may well have been through a traumatic event, but why do they deserve a better standard of housing as a result? What about other people on the council waiting lists? And while we are here, in general why is society responsible for housing people? What are the people who can’t afford their own housing giving back to society? Social Housing is an unfair, dreadful liability my children will have to pay for for the rest of their lives. Worse, they will have to pay through the nose to subsidise people who wish to live in London when they can’t afford to live there themselves. That is unjust.

Lastly, an unexpected phenomenon has been recently tested by Prof. Lawrence Harwood at the University of Reading. His research shows that water sprayed on aluminium that had been heated to 300 degrees Celsius would ignite the aluminium and accelerate the fire. His hypothesis is that water absorbed by the cladding would turn to steam, ignite the aluminium, expose more cladding, release even more steam and then allow the fire to run away.

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Old 3rd Oct 2017, 12:11   #940 (permalink)
 
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What are the people who can’t afford their own housing giving back to society?
Most people can't afford their own housing. Last time I saw some numbers, around 20% would never be able to afford any housing; around 20% were rich buggers who would always be able to afford whatever they liked; and the remaining 60% lived in houses they'd bought some time ago but there was no way they could afford them at current prices. So the "people who can't afford their own housing" on those figures are 80% of the population. I would say that any 80% of the population you cared to identify would be "giving back" quite a lot to society, otherwise all of us would be totally destitute.
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