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Grenfell Report Leak

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Grenfell Report Leak

Old 31st Oct 2019, 17:46
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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The hate directed towards Dany Cotton is well misdirected, fairly new to her position and doing I have no doubt her best, negligence on her part is arguable. She does herself no favours though in demeanour but that isn't a crime last time I checked.

Austerity cuts to the Fire services may well be more a useful focus point.
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 17:47
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Repos View Post
The Chief Officer Dany Cotton doesn't present herself with much authority or confidence but I have some sympathy with her position.
I do too. In 99% of high-rise fires, the advice given to occupants would have been correct. Was the LFB supposed to know that Grenfell was one of the other 1%?
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 17:53
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I do too. In 99% of high-rise fires, the advice given to occupants would have been correct. Was the LFB supposed to know that Grenfell was one of the other 1%?
I agree. The stay put policy wss/is a national one, based on the understanding that fires spread internally.
If the fire team had been advised that the cladding would engulf the building in minutes they would doubtless have proceeded differently.
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 18:52
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Dany Cotton had served 30 something years as a firefighter, from the ground up. She therefore knew what she was doing and had absolute faith in the "stay put" philosophy, no doubt having seen it work well over those years. I am sure the inquiry will eventually turn up evidence of various parties having certified that the cladding was good and the building was certified as complaint with all the relevant regs. Hopefully, if the inquiry does find this, people will be going to prison.
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 21:50
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
The emergency access staircase is only a metre or so wide, and only intended to be used if the lifts break down. Clearly the lifts can't be used when there's a fire (they are one of the things that I think get automatically isolated for safety) so just how are hundreds of people going to be evacuated in an orderly way, down a very narrow access staircase that is already littered with fire hoses and firefighters moving upwards?
I wouldn't expect to find fire hoses on the emergency staircases - the fire brigade should be connecting to dry risers in the lobbies.

About a year ago I was part of a full evacuation of this building:
https://www.wtca.org/locations/world.../wtc-almere--2
The main part of the building is 33 floors, most of them with space for at least 50 desks, with two narrow staircases - there was just space for some emergency responders to get past me - as the only escape route. I would have thought this would put it on a similar or larger scale to Grenfell Tower in terms of number of people and evacuation route capacity..

I was about halfway up the building when the alarm sounded and it took 15-20 minutes to get out, but it all worked.
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 23:01
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dastocks View Post
I wouldn't expect to find fire hoses on the emergency staircases - the fire brigade should be connecting to dry risers in the lobbies.

I was about halfway up the building when the alarm sounded and it took 15-20 minutes to get out, but it all worked.
I need to go back to the actual transcripts of the testimonies but I recollect that even with dry (or wet) risers the hoses are connected a floor lower than the fire to be tackled and taken up the stairs.

And presumably your case had a full-building alarm? This did not, and it would have required enough firefighters to climb the stairs, that it was stated were difficult for two people to pass on, and bang on every door to get the residents out. Like other posters I think LFB and Dany Cotton have been very harshly treated.

Perhaps an upside of what we have read from the inquiry so far is that the real culprits are going to be pilloried. [Several punishments involving heat deleted before posting].

'a
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 00:17
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Somehow, I feel a similarity to the report on the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879 - "Badly designed, badly built and badly maintained".

In that case, they didn't have scapegoat, unlike this one.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 07:53
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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I think I read at the time that the spec for the cladding had been set to a new (lower) standard as the regs had been slackened a bit. Apparently the company made several different qualities of cladding in respect of fire resistance and the top standard was not used for Grenfell.

According to what I read the lesser standard qualified if it was installed exactly to makers spec. as the less resistant material behind the actual exterior surface was contained withing the framing where fire should not have been able to reach it. However the framing was not tight against the brick exterior allowing the flames to reach in material and creating a funnel in which hot air made a forced draught and ultra fast flame spread.

I suspect the manufacturer, the installers, the inspectors, engineers and the council staff will all be able to show that they complied with their job requirements. Some of their decisions might be bad ones but they will all be within guidelines (Or at least that is what they will try to show of blame lack of resources.)

It does look as though the composers of the report decided to go for the easy targets first. I can't see how a senior LFB officer, even seeing the exterior in flames, would not tell people to stay in situ if he expected the fire to remain on the outside and the fire doors to be working.. I remember back even in the seventies, I think, the change to "staying in situ" in modern constructed high rises so it has been policy for around fifty years.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 08:21
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by radeng View Post
Somehow, I feel a similarity to the report on the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879 - "Badly designed, badly built and badly maintained".

In that case, they didn't have scapegoat, unlike this one.
Similarly, I don't think I've ever read an air accident report blaming the rescue team for loss of life. They usually start with the people in charge of the aircraft, the designer and builder of the aircraft down to the maintenance team.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 08:37
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Originally Posted by Grayfly View Post
Similarly, I don't think I've ever read an air accident report blaming the rescue team for loss of life.
Asiana 214 ?

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Old 1st Nov 2019, 08:45
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Asiana 214 ?
OK, loss of 3 lives, but not for the initial accident.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 09:05
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dastocks View Post
About a year ago I was part of a full evacuation of this building:
https://www.wtca.org/locations/world.../wtc-almere--2
The main part of the building is 33 floors, most of them with space for at least 50 desks, with two narrow staircases - there was just space for some emergency responders to get past me - as the only escape route. I would have thought this would put it on a similar or larger scale to Grenfell Tower in terms of number of people and evacuation route capacity..

I was about halfway up the building when the alarm sounded and it took 15-20 minutes to get out, but it all worked.
I seem to recall discussing the design of buildings and fire regulations at work (a bunch of safety engineers discussing things that can go wrong is not for the faint hearted} and the subject of some of the big new buildings in Asia came up. From what I can recall there are some of them have built in fire refuges at a higher level. The point being that you are supposed to head for a refuge instead of getting out of the building which is quicker and in terms of the safety of crowds of people less likely to cause injuries when people are trying to get out in a hurry.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 09:29
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
I seem to recall discussing the design of buildings and fire regulations at work (a bunch of safety engineers discussing things that can go wrong is not for the faint hearted} and the subject of some of the big new buildings in Asia came up. From what I can recall there are some of them have built in fire refuges at a higher level. The point being that you are supposed to head for a refuge instead of getting out of the building which is quicker and in terms of the safety of crowds of people less likely to cause injuries when people are trying to get out in a hurry.
Every flat inside Grenfell was designed as a citadel, a.k.a a fire refuge, which is why there was a "stay put in the event of fire" strategy for the building.

The problem was that, although the building was resistant to the spread of fire when designed and built, at that time it didn't have any flammable material on the outside, and didn't have flammable uPVC window frames (the original frames were aluminium). Once they clad the building in flammable material, and then jeopardised every flat by fitting windows that could easily let fire in, the citadel principle was no longer valid. As the build had no fire escape (the stairs were narrow and classified as being for access only - they didn't meet fire regs for an escape route, apparently), there was really no reasonable way to get people out quickly. From the photos, the access staircase looks to be only maybe a metre or so wide.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 09:53
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Every time a building is modified or refurbished, the fire strategy document is meant to be updated or revised by the design/project team. The building owner also has a responsibility . Someone dropped the ball on that one and I don't think it was the LFB.

A few Professional Indemnity Companies will be waiting on claims or distancing themselves from this one.
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 23:37
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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As soon as I saw it on the news, I remarked to a mate of mine, that the cladding was acting as a flue, channelling the flames up the building, fueled by air from the bottom. The cladding applied to the face would not have created that effect, but set out at 4" on spacers, created that flue gap!
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 09:55
  #36 (permalink)  
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Thanks for all responses.
I think the argument that most resonates with me is "in an accident, one doesn't normally accuse the rescuers first.
The leaking of the document to the BBC (if not others) allowed a witch hunt to start, and treated as a "scoop" revealing LFB errors.
I found it strange that theyt couldn't wait one more day for the Report to be released and my conclusion was/is that it was a deliberate ploy to throw the LFB to the wolves in the hope that when Part 2 is issued, blame will still attach in public memory to the LFB and thus not all on those who destroyed the buildings fire resistance.

In this instance all the holes lined up, but targetting LFB specifically now is unjustified.
Yes, there were failings, always is in a disaster (clue there) but in a fire, flood or earthquake, rescuers do the best they can in the circumstances, using their training.

In my opinion, the Report should have started with those most to blame and then worked through to the LFB who were left holding the parcel passed to it by others when it all went wrong.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 10:05
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Instead of adopting the citadel fire safety concept, where the individual flats are made fire resistant and safe to remain in, some tower blocks have been built with proper external fire escapes, like this one:




I suspect that the high cost, plus the additional land area taken up, may have been the reason for there being no proper fire escape arrangements within Grenfell Tower.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 12:40
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Instead of adopting the citadel fire safety concept, where the individual flats are made fire resistant and safe to remain in, some tower blocks have been built with proper external fire escapes, like this one:



Forgive me asking, but where are the external fire escapes ?

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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 12:46
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Forgive me asking, but where are the external fire escapes ?
Inside the fire resistant access tower, the one to the left in that photo. In the event of a fire within the accommodation part to the right, residents can safely escape using the external corridors that lead to the access tower. Probably not perfect, and not an ideal solution in the event of an external cladding fire like Grenfell, though.
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Old 3rd Nov 2019, 13:01
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Trellick Tower.

At one time known as "The Tower of Terror" and "The Tallest Urinal in Europe".
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