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Grenfell Report Leak

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Grenfell Report Leak

Old 6th Nov 2019, 15:42
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Consider, for a minute,what someone who has read the report, might do now if caught in a tower block that was on fire. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd now choose to ignore the fire safety advice, if that advice was to stay put, and get the hell out of the building.

Would I have done that before the Grenfell fire? No, I'd not have even given it a moment's thought, I'd have followed the fire safety advice to stay put.

Hindsight has changed how everyone view situations like this. R-M is being pilloried for stating how he would behave now, in the light of the knowledge gained from the Grenfell tragedy, not how he may have behaved before it.
You are obviously a kinder and more generous person than I am. I saw the film of what he said and the way that he said it on the news, and came to the conclusion that he was saying that if he'd been in the situation of the Grenfell Tower fire, he would have survived because he would have ignored the fire safety advice because he's cleverer than everyone else. Bridgen - and many others - interpreted what he said in the same way. I'll freely admit that putting myself in the position of interpreting something in the same way as Bridgen did doesn't say much for my intellectual powers, but there it is!

The other point that this raises is, as you will be aware, quite interesting. Most people who live in tower blocks are under a "stay-put" strategy. Because of this there will be NO central alarm system in their blocks. How are they going to know that there is a fire?
Now, YOU may want to be warned if there is a fire in the block, in order to give you the option to get the hell out of there, (and I'm damn sure that I would prefer to know, and I'm pretty sure that if you asked most residents, they would want to know - in fact many erroneously assume that in the event of a fire, they WILL be alerted by an alarm), but that isn't the way that the blocks have been designed and there isn't the infrastructure to support it - it will have to be retrofitted.
Then comes the interesting part: the leaseholders will have to pay for this and although many will open their wallets willingly, others will complain very voiciferously about being landed with additional charges and challenge the competence of those making the decision (been there, got the badge). Some leases (I suspect most modern ones) will allow leaseholders to be charged for "improvements" but others won't ... so the expenditure may need to be justified.
THEN it gets even better: your fire authority will be VERY loathe to give you written advice to fit an integrated alarm ... partly because they no longer have the authority to do so (except in situations where there are safety failings under the Fire Safety Order) but also partly because, by fitting the alarm, you are compromising the "stay-put" strategy.
That means you have to go back to your Fire Risk Assessment and have a conversation with your fire engineer (or competent person) who will say: "But your building is designed around the "stay-put" strategy so you shouldn't really compromise that by fitting an alarm system".
I don't like "stay-put". However I suspect that unless and until someone legislates for this (and bearing in mind it would have to be retroactive legislation to affect the current housing stock, which goes down REALLY well in general), it will be around for a long time to come (unless of course they try going through the route of using the Fire Safety Order to enforce changes, which will be even more fraught). And IF retroactive legislation is passed, expect more complaints about who's going to pay for retrofitted sprinklers, central alarm systems, lift upgrades to make them fire-fighting lifts, not to mention the current issues about who is going to pay for replacing Trespa, wood cladding, wooden balconies, etc, on buildings that are out of warranty and the builder has gone bust and which were signed off by local council Building Control services.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 16:17
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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As a great admirer of the consistently high quality information contained in the posts of both VP959 and DaveReidUK on a very wide variety of subjects, I have to say that I'm with VP959 on this specific issue - and the context.

Jack
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 16:18
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
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Too much deep thinking here. If I were in a building that was on fire, I would not be ringing people for advice, I would be gone. JRM has merely stated the obvious, maybe people will get out a bit quicker next time and not stand there streaming the event to Facebook.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 17:12
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Would I have done that before the Grenfell fire? No, I'd not have even given it a moment's thought, I'd have followed the fire safety advice to stay put.

Hindsight has changed how everyone view situations like this. R-M is being pilloried for stating how he would behave now, in the light of the knowledge gained from the Grenfell tragedy, not how he may have behaved before it.
In other words, JR-M's advice would be sound, given another Grenfell-type fire ?

Can't argue with that, but I don't see it being of any practical application.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 17:28
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Interesting viewpoints expressed on an aviation-related forum, some emanating from professional aviators.Fire and aircraft do not mix well! Professional advice as to action in the event of fire is impressed on everyone involved, pax or crew. Which of the actions advised would the "ignore the Fire Service advice" advocates consider to be superfluous, dangerous, lacking in commonsense, suitable to be ignored or something on which they are better informed? Input from one who spent rather too long with an engine fire light illuminated. well off-shore and having to convince a dedicated 'get-home-itis' captain that 'land as soon as possible' meant just that!. Sitting at a keyboard doesn't quite produce the frisson of urgency generated by smoke and heat!
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 17:53
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Rules may need to change in the light of experience. Prior to Grenfell no one seems to have considered that the fire safety policy needed to be reviewed. Now we know how flawed that policy was, maybe it needs to change. Aircraft safety policy also changes in the light of experience.

During the spate of Seaking MRGB lubrication-related problems many years ago, the initial rule was "land immediately" if there was a MRGB lubrication failure. This advice was ignored at least once, when "land immediately" meant ditching, and the crew made a decision to fly for a couple of minutes and reach dry land. Following this, there was an investigation and Westland's were asked to determine if there was a MRGB safe dry running time. It turned out there was, so the rule was changed to allow for this. Given that, like a lot of helicopters, the Seaking tended to roll over after ditching, I suspect this advice may have saved lives.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 18:23
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Before deciding, as a matter of policy, whether to stay put or not, there is one very important factor to consider: hasn't it been shown that the qualities needed to maintain the "Citadel" properties of the flats had been breached or ignored in the Grenfell incident?
So, if you are in a block of flats that has been properly built and maintained, stay put would be the correct approach.
A good friend of mine was with Hampshire Fire Service for donkey's years. I was talking with him some years ago about how 2 firefighters had lost their lives dealing with a serious fire in a block of flats. They had been trained to feel the temperature of a door before attempting to open it because of the risk of a flashback. The way to this was by putting the back of a hand against the door. It seems they did this, found the temperature to be not excessive and opened the door only to be consumed by a massive flashback form a serious fire. How did this happen? They had been issued with new kit and this included a better type of heat resistant glove so the door didn't feel excessively hot when tested. Ironic that the new kit designed to keep them safer was the indirect cause of their demise.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 18:35
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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" Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools."
... surprised that that old saw hasn't yet surfaced! Like so many aphorisms, it requires some extra information to make it valid ... who are the 'wise men' and who 'the fools'? Frequently not obvious!
VP 's Seaking tale is illuminating but, worth noting that, as pointed out most forcefully by one of my early instructors, aircraft do not land on water, they alight! Pedantry of a high order, perhaps but had I left one of Auntie Betty's rotary assets in the oggin when the FRCs said "LAND at nearest ...", I might want "Marshall Hall for the Defence"!
That apart, having had one of our Whirlwinds spread itself as a kit of parts on Nicosia airfield , ANYTHING indicative of MRGs or the 'Jesus Nut' being even slightly out of kilter, in my book means DOWN - RIGHT NOW!!! Discuss it in the dinghy, if you wish but make sure you DO get into the dinghy - Look up North Sea MRG incidents (and Norway) if you need a refresher!
Individual incidents are no guidance as to best practice and can be totally misleading if used as a 'read across' to (even) similar occasions.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 18:45
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Capt scribble posted #63 and got it right; no more to write.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 19:02
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
" Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools."
... surprised that that old saw hasn't yet surfaced! Like so many aphorisms, it requires some extra information to make it valid ... who are the 'wise men' and who 'the fools'? Frequently not obvious!
VP 's Seaking tale is illuminating but, worth noting that, as pointed out most forcefully by one of my early instructors, aircraft do not land on water, they alight! Pedantry of a high order, perhaps but had I left one of Auntie Betty's rotary assets in the oggin when the FRCs said "LAND at nearest ...", I might want "Marshall Hall for the Defence"!
That apart, having had one of our Whirlwinds spread itself as a kit of parts on Nicosia airfield , ANYTHING indicative of MRGs or the 'Jesus Nut' being even slightly out of kilter, in my book means DOWN - RIGHT NOW!!! Discuss it in the dinghy, if you wish but make sure you DO get into the dinghy - Look up North Sea MRG incidents (and Norway) if you need a refresher!
Individual incidents are no guidance as to best practice and can be totally misleading if used as a 'read across' to (even) similar occasions.

The Seaking had a bit of reputation for losing the oil from the MRGB. I seem to remember there may have been a mod, around the time the Mk6s entered service, perhaps, to introduce a back up lubrication system to deal with the problem, in addition to there being a stipulated dry running time. FWIW, I've a fair bit of time in the back of Seakings, much of it over water withinin D005, Falmouth Bay, when it was an active torpedo range. Luckily never been in one that had a MRGB problem, though.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 21:46
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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interesting thread.

I do think the second part of the inquiry will be interesting especially in relation to the compromising of the compartmentation and escape stair.

it always strikes me that if the integrity of the stair had remained in place then the external fire in the cladding would have been a secondary issue.
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