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Stuart Smiles  
#1 Posted : 16 June 2017 12:49:03(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Stuart Smiles

Hi all, 

Listening to the radio this morning, I was thinking about how, if one were in a position of power, you would actively improve the conditions for those affected quickly and efficiently, and as such, this is the list I came up with. whilst needing to be positive and try to to go down blame route as that will follow over years to come 

Would you add/change anything? 

Hi Today, 

You need to extract a committment to following is done within next 1-2weeks across the country. 

1) list of everyone who lives in flats, next of kin etc & checked. 

2) multiple evacuation practices to ensure people know what to do to get out if required

3) alarm sounder system to be able to start evacuation process so residents know when to commence exit - say alarm & fire engines sirens? 

4) system to check people in/out as leaving builsing so that can know everyone is out as leaving & assembly points. 

5) list of next of kin details and fire plans at bottom of building to check off as people exiting ( updated monthly or so). 

6) identified person and backup contact to be at building or there within short period of time and or by phone to support fire brigade

7) fire box/plans at building bottom to allow ability to get docs to hand to fire people.

8) check isolation points work to turn off services

9) list of blocks, evac times and access issues centrally held per fire area and copy available on request

go to she show and get everyone in a room together to sort out what doing - no one leaves till done.

There's a start of what to ask mr javid to seek a committment for on behalf of other block residents.

In relation to people who have been evacuated, seperate list, including ability to re-apply for documents to "old Address", for redistribution via care of address as won't have a proper address for some time, 

in addition to everything else. 

 

Thanks

JohnW  
#2 Posted : 16 June 2017 13:13:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
JohnW

That action list should become mandatory for all tower block landlords
Ian Bell2  
#3 Posted : 16 June 2017 14:05:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

How about Mrs May and Mr Javid agree to funding public services to an acceptable level. How about the tax laws are written to ensure the large Corporates pay a fair rate of tax to help fund public services. Public services that we all use and benefit from.
LeanneD  
#4 Posted : 16 June 2017 14:24:42(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
LeanneD

new to the forums so forgive me if am posting incorrectly however a few points from the suggested list.

1) Who will compile and update the list of residents and next of kin etc?  I am guessing that not all of the dwellings will be managed by the same letting agency? (never lived in a tower block so not sure how that works).

2) What about visitors to the building?

3) How secure will the list of next of kin be that is kept with the Fire Management Plans...is there a potential DPA breach here?

Absolutely agree that better fire managment needs to be in place for high rise towers, especilly if they are higher than the maximum reach of the Fire and Rescue Service's equipment, such as with the Grenfell fire however this needs to be a manageable solution and I am not sure that some of the suggestions are workable in domestic settings.  It is hard enough maintaining registers of workers in a building, let alone home owners and their guests.

Edited by user 16 June 2017 14:25:51(UTC)  | Reason: grammatical errors

thanks 2 users thanked LeanneD for this useful post.
DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC), jwk on 19/06/2017(UTC)
Stuart Smiles  
#5 Posted : 16 June 2017 15:52:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Stuart Smiles

Re building list - has to be building owner - who gives authority of lease and as part of that process it is updated - reference could be like motor insurers database and insistence on registration for tennants for electoral roll - existing database that needs to be up to date. Whoever currently does fire risk assesment. Obviously children need to be included too as main residence. For visitors: Reception and visitors book? As per visiting a company - person you are visiting ensures you register ala company reception desk - doesn't need to be staffed. Camera over it to ensure degree of compliance and some sort of visitor sign in with sheets able to be deposited if need security of records. Printer locally for up to date list where can press button and do report when fire alarm activated ala security systems on buildings/clocking machines. Apparently there was a fob system for security anyway as one of the people said he opened a door between front & back with his fob. - so a system is already present. - perhaps even tag in/out like oyster card so it's understood and simple, but gives realistic numbers and times to confirm who is likely to be there. Obviously tailgaiting and security may be a view as to why not to use, but am accurate list remains the ideal, and not surveillance. For a specific purpouse to ensure you can get to " everybody is out" as you would for a company site, and meet fire brigade with a list of who and where there may be people still potentially at risk. I'd have thought with practice could get under 10-15 mins for majority of people. Ideal to have ability to leave room in 20secs with grab bag / exit kit bag - canvas not plastic and non flammable coat at door/denim jacket. Small towel/flannel Water bottle Space blanket Dustmask ffp3 Wallet Phone Key Backup cashcard D-licence/id Battery charger /lead for phone Notebook/pad Pen/pencil First aid items as appropriate perhaps (Modelled on car accident kit)
Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 16 June 2017 16:47:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

And in the practicalities of the real world:

building owner is an off-shore consortium/oliogarch - leases & lettings contracted to a management company

visitor book and/or pen stolen, damaged, full (book), not replaced

local printer? doesn't work if communications (cable) are down or the mains breaker has tripped, ink dries up through lack of use, paper jams, fire at/adjacent to printer location

fob systems? again any issue affecting communications cabling or power supply - not forgetting that in the event of fire the last thing evacuees are going to be concerned about is finding their fob and politely queing in a smoke filled lobby to swipe out

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC), jwk on 19/06/2017(UTC)
boblewis  
#7 Posted : 16 June 2017 17:34:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

My real wish is for high rise accomodation not to be used for disabled persons above ground floor. An audit should establish those affected and then re homed to appropriate accomodation.  Equally this should apply to ALL MULTIPLE STOREY  accomodation.

thanks 1 user thanked boblewis for this useful post.
DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC)
firesafety101  
#8 Posted : 16 June 2017 19:49:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Stuart I'm sorry but most of that just will not work. Occupiers of residential tower blocks are members of the public and cannot be tied down by rules. There is no way you will get every occupant responding to a fire drill, booking themselves in and out. In my experience as a Firefighter anything provided for safety in tower blocks is prone to vandalism. Hoses and extinguishes go missing or get damaged. Who knows what the occupants are doing at any one time, drinking parties, drug taking, playing live music very loud etc. In my opinion sprinklers should now be installed in every building occupied by sleeping people and owned by a landlord. We have recently seen nursing homes and HMOs severely damaged by fires and lives lost. If sprinklers had been installed at Grenfell Tower I doubt if any lives would have been lost directly due to the fire and unlikely for the fire to have spread beyond the one flat.
thanks 6 users thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
aud on 16/06/2017(UTC), David Bannister on 17/06/2017(UTC), A Kurdziel on 19/06/2017(UTC), DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC), hubble on 19/06/2017(UTC), jwk on 19/06/2017(UTC)
RayRapp  
#9 Posted : 17 June 2017 08:30:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I agree with firesafety in that many of the interventions suggested in this thread will not work in practice I can say with some confidence because within my portfolio I manage fire safety in over 400 blocks of flats. They do differ in type and there are no high rise per se, however the principles are much the same. Managing fire safety in a large amount of blocks is a very time consuming task, trying to bring flats up to modern day standards is also a very costly. These blocks are 40, 50 and some over 60 years old, they require basic interventions like fire doors, door closers, emergency escape lighting and so on. 

I have recommended those who have mobility issues are moved to a ground floor - however being tenants we cannot force them to move if they do not wish to move as is sometimes the case. When they originally moved in, particularly with sheletered schemes, they did not have mobility issues but these develop with age.

Many of these discussions reminds me of the issues with railway disasters back in the 90's and early part of this century. Trains were frequently running through red lights due to driver error. In the Cullen enquiry into the Ladbroke Grove crash there were a number of recommendations, however the main one was to install Automatic Train Protection at all junctions. This recommendation alone has decreased train crashes significantly and saved countless lives. I believe what is need in blocks of flats is automated sprinkler system, expensive to retro fit, but it will save many lives in the long term.        

thanks 2 users thanked RayRapp for this useful post.
David Bannister on 17/06/2017(UTC), DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC)
boblewis  
#10 Posted : 17 June 2017 09:33:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Ray

Unfortunately not every building is suitable for retrofitting of sprinklers and with high rise buildings the maintenance of water pressure can be a real problem especially if you need to upgrade max feed/pressure to make sprinklers operable at say the 30th floor etc.  Modern blocks address this problem at initial design and possible floor loadings from the water is also addressed.  Unfortunately CDM did not exist pre 1994.

I know the problems of moving people but it surely needs to be built into tenancy agreements such that going forwards the problem decreases.  Also I know many disabled persons on the upper floors of such blocks who would dearly wish to move but are put to the back of the queue constantly

thanks 1 user thanked boblewis for this useful post.
Suits on 19/06/2017(UTC)
walker  
#11 Posted : 17 June 2017 09:39:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
walker

If we finally see HSE action where clients are held responsible for their duties under CDM maybe lots of places would become safer. The law is in place but not used. I know this is my usual rant, but it's about time public bodies awarded contracts on something more than the cheapest bid and they will only do that if a potential prison sentence is a reality.
thanks 1 user thanked walker for this useful post.
DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC)
RayRapp  
#12 Posted : 17 June 2017 11:53:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Bob

If some buildings cannot be retro fitted with sprinklers then so be it - I'm not an engineer to argue the feasibility but I would be surprised if engineering could not overcome the problems. What I can say with some assurance, it is a legal requirement in Wales for new premises which are deemed high risk (i.e. care homes, flats, converted properties, etc) to be fitted with water sprinklers. However, it is not (at least yet) a legal requirement in England.

Changes to Tenancy Agreements are more difficult to implement than retro fitting sprinklers - trust me I've been there!  

Walker, agree with you about clients and CDM 100%.  Meanwhile, public bodies are the worst at complying with H&S Regulations...not the first or last time I have mentioned this.   

boblewis  
#13 Posted : 17 June 2017 13:36:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Ray

Agree it is a problem for existing tenants but surely not for new ones going forward. 

Stuart Smiles  
#14 Posted : 18 June 2017 21:35:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Stuart Smiles

My question comes back to the disparity between what is achieveable for a "work building" or hotel to a residential building in terms of evacuation timescales. To me, the 5 whys takes you to responsibility/ownership on the site owner at work, and them practicing and pressing to get evac time down for fire tisk etc - monitored measured etc. In terms of improving the liklihood for getting out and knowing who is there, the best options would be to have a level of control to understand where we are, which will have to be lead by some form of duty holder. The acceptability of how long it takes to get people out in the residential environment needs to be closer to work. How it is achieved, i have suggested based on a workplace's controls - stuff we would have had. (No door fobs though) Whether they are thought impractical or never work etc, it seems to me something needs to be different, and those are ways and means to assist. By no means would it all be easy, however if i or family lived in such a place, i'd plan to get out in the first batch, and would look to consider the difference between being on lower or upper floors as part of my assessment (If only in case lifts stop working). In addition if can't do all sprinklers - phase to do stairwell as stage 1, corridors 2 and rooms 3, i know if you're going to do it do it but may have to adopt a phased approach - if only because booking an install may take a while to get right bods as they are going to be busy. I understand there is very few options for housing people, but would have preferences, as would all others. Even if it's not perfect could it be better? - re evacs and lists of who is there, surely a regular update would refresh the list and be valuable, if only to confirm details of where to focus future attention or some samples to see where it's good enough. Also asks people to think about what if and automate in own brain what they will do, logging makes point of doing it/actions required/ targets Bottom line is if people want things to work they will, if they don't they wont. Fao mods: tried to not speculate as per previous post rules...

Edited by user 18 June 2017 21:51:48(UTC)  | Reason: added ref to risk based sprinklers, mod comment, cont improvement

WatsonD  
#15 Posted : 19 June 2017 08:58:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: boblewis Go to Quoted Post

Ray

Unfortunately not every building is suitable for retrofitting of sprinklers and with high rise buildings the maintenance of water pressure can be a real problem especially if you need to upgrade max feed/pressure to make sprinklers operable at say the 30th floor etc.  Modern blocks address this problem at initial design and possible floor loadings from the water is also addressed.  Unfortunately CDM did not exist pre 1994.

I know the problems of moving people but it surely needs to be built into tenancy agreements such that going forwards the problem decreases.  Also I know many disabled persons on the upper floors of such blocks who would dearly wish to move but are put to the back of the queue constantly

In smaller properties then a CWBS would be utilised. If this is not suitable then a dedicated tank and pump can be fitted. Although I admit this would make the cost higher. However, I don't think any tower blocks over 30 metres, new or old would be able to be fitted without a dedicated tank and pump set, meaning the cost and work wouldn't be bigger or  higher for older prioprrties because of this.

Edited by user 19 June 2017 08:59:05(UTC)  | Reason: added text

boblewis  
#16 Posted : 19 June 2017 11:25:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Originally Posted by: WatsonD Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: boblewis Go to Quoted Post

Ray

Unfortunately not every building is suitable for retrofitting of sprinklers and with high rise buildings the maintenance of water pressure can be a real problem especially if you need to upgrade max feed/pressure to make sprinklers operable at say the 30th floor etc.  Modern blocks address this problem at initial design and possible floor loadings from the water is also addressed.  Unfortunately CDM did not exist pre 1994.

I know the problems of moving people but it surely needs to be built into tenancy agreements such that going forwards the problem decreases.  Also I know many disabled persons on the upper floors of such blocks who would dearly wish to move but are put to the back of the queue constantly

In smaller properties then a CWBS would be utilised. If this is not suitable then a dedicated tank and pump can be fitted. Although I admit this would make the cost higher. However, I don't think any tower blocks over 30 metres, new or old would be able to be fitted without a dedicated tank and pump set, meaning the cost and work wouldn't be bigger or  higher for older prioprrties because of this.

The installation of roof tanks also adds substantially to the loading of the floor /roof.  Besides where would all the radio telephone antennae go??? :-)

thanks 1 user thanked boblewis for this useful post.
WatsonD on 20/06/2017(UTC)
Alfasev  
#17 Posted : 19 June 2017 12:03:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Alfasev

Fire safety of occupants in UK buildings is governed by Part B of the Building Regulations and not the CDM regulations. Although there may be associated risks it is important that this distinction is understood.

Part B of  the Building Regulations for high rise is week, as it does not specifically offer any direction. The regs unfortunately refer you to other standards and documentation, Appendix F.  For those who need to ask questions it is here you will find a list of documents offering guidance for high rise cladding, fire stops, design etc. 

hilary  
#18 Posted : 19 June 2017 12:19:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

As an interim measure I would be inclined to install external fire escapes on at least two sides of every building.  This would be non intrusive to the inside of the bulding but would allow a lot more people to be able to get out of the building.  At the end of the day, surely saving lives is the main point rather than fighting the fire?

Edited by user 19 June 2017 12:21:06(UTC)  | Reason: added word to make the question make sense

Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 19 June 2017 13:08:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

over the weekend I have also heard several other suggestions (ranging from the sublime to the downright riduculous better suited to adrenaline junkies) - problem is they do not take in to account the individual design of tower blocks, the abilities of the potential users and the practicalities of implementation.

If six properties on a floor ring a central communal access area how do you get to the external fire escape if it is not immediately outside of your window without intruding to the main building? That's before you get to designing the escape so that it is usable by all in all weathers and at any time of day.

chris42  
#20 Posted : 19 June 2017 14:43:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Are the doors to flats at FD30 sufficient? strikes me if the instruction is to stay put, until it starts to spread. 30 minutes from when someone is aware of a fire in a lower flat and until you are made aware somehow to evacuate and you progress down 20 Plus flights of stairs, is 30 minutes enough? I know there are not supposed to be flammable or combustible items on the stairways but how often is this checked. Once the fire makes it through the door I assume the smoke & toxic gases will then go up the stairwell.

thanks 2 users thanked chris42 for this useful post.
DavidGault on 19/06/2017(UTC), jwk on 19/06/2017(UTC)
firesafety101  
#21 Posted : 19 June 2017 16:50:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: hilary Go to Quoted Post
As an interim measure I would be inclined to install external fire escapes on at least two sides of every building. This would be non intrusive to the inside of the bulding but would allow a lot more people to be able to get out of the building. At the end of the day, surelysaving lives isthe main point rather than fighting the fire?
Hilary, Grenfell Tower is one building where external fire escapes would just contribute to the fire deaths. Sorry. Further, imagine old age people accessing to external escape at the top floor level, perhaps 22 storeys. How would their slow descent affect others who join the escape after and above them. What a bottleneck they could cause.
WatsonD  
#22 Posted : 20 June 2017 08:30:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: boblewis Go to Quoted Post

The installation of roof tanks also adds substantially to the loading of the floor /roof.  Besides where would all the radio telephone antennae go??? :-)

Haha yes it can be a problem. The tanks don't need to go in the roof though, in some cases we've built a small shed outside to hold it. As an engineer yourself, you know - where there is a will, there is a way!

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