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RayRapp  
#41 Posted : 11 November 2019 19:13:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Steve, it's an excellent article by the Fire Chief, which I am sure will resonate with many others. However, it is only one side of a story, there are two sides to a story...and then there are the facts.

Messey  
#42 Posted : 11 November 2019 20:09:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

I do take issue with the writer’s description of the RR (FSO) as deregulation. They don’t seem to realise that this law clearly made the FRA the centre piece of fire safety. The old FPA was a very prescriptive document under which the fire service checked off that the building had certain features which were designed to mitigate the outbreak of fire (eg means of raising the alarm, protected fire escape routes, means to fight the fire) rather that a goal based approach which is about stopping the fire breaking out in the first place. The people best placed to do this are the user/occupiers of the building in question. 

Well said. So many people are using this 'deregulation' description when referring to The Fire Safety Order. Its nonsense as the FSO is by far an improvement over the old FPA for reasons given by RayRapp.

Its also worth noting that the Fire Precautions Act and its cumbersome Fire Certificates did not apply to residental flats, whereas the common parts of the same buildings now are covered under the FSO. Plus Article 31 (Prohibition Notices) apply to any part of any building including flats, where access to those flats is the subject of an Art 31 Notice

Is the FSO perfect? Of course not. In the fire safety world, only I am perfect - so I hope they dont change the legislation too much.

The fire service must retail its enforcement role, but if the recommendations of this failed Inquiry is anything to go by, the fire service may well have a larger - almost managing agent role. Moore - Bick has suggested that managers of high rise flats test their firefighting lifts 'regularly' (they already do!) and report the status of their firefighting lifts to the fire service on a monthly basis.

So its a slide back in time to when the fire service were responsible for fire safety and not the owner/occupier. That is a very poor decision and I hope HM Govt kick it into touch.

Can you imagine how many blocks the London Fire Brigade will be managing? More expense for the tax payer!

thanks 1 user thanked Messey for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 12/11/2019(UTC)
toe  
#43 Posted : 13 November 2019 01:28:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
toe

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

An interesting read, in which I have to agree. I have been looking into fire safety issues in high rise building for some time now (including conducting FRA’s where instructed to do so), what I have discovered in many buildings would shock many and in particular the residents of the properties.  Only this morning I visited the site on Albert Drive in Glasgow where a tenement property collapsed due to a recent fire.

So here lies the problem, well in Scotland anyway. Scottish fire safety law does not include domestic dwelling, including common areas of domestic dwellings. Where Registered Social Landlords are managing High Rise properties some landlords have taken steps to conduct FRA’s in common areas, but these assessments do not reflect the capability of a ‘stay-put’ policy, i.e. they do no go into resident’s flats to asses compartmentation of the flat.

So here are my general findings. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are still giving advice on a ‘stay-put’ policy for all high-rise buildings in Scotland (unless otherwise instructed by them). I have discovered the following:

  1. Poor or no fire dampers in bin chutes;
  2. Poor or no fire stopping in services between floors;
  3. Ventilation/extraction systems interconnected between flats with no fire dampers fitted;
  4. Power companies installing ‘smart meters’ and not fire-stopping where they have breached compartments;
  5. Many of the flat entrance doors leading onto emergency escape routes, although met the standards of the day would not perform well in the event of a fire, i.e. no automatic closures, fitted with Georgian glass, open style letterboxes and mortice lock where you can see through the door and into the property.
  6. The point at 5 above equally applies to fire doors fitted on emergency escape routes.

    In addition to the above, I have come across poorly manages industrial style laundry rooms in these properties and central emergency light back up systems where hydrogen gases (smell of rotten eggs) from the lead-acid batteries was lingering in the room due to poor ventilation and overcharging poorly maintained batteries.

    I guess my point is, in Scotland, there are some serious fire safety issues in high rise buildings, I am hopeful the recent Grenfell report and the onerous on Landlords will help, but Fire Safety Law needs to change for these properties, IMHO.

 

jwk  
#44 Posted : 14 November 2019 10:31:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Reading through this report it is clear that, as always in major disasters, there were multiple management failings: indeed some of them are foreshadowed in the passionate piece posted by Steve above. Firefighters weren't trained in what to do if containment failed, well, why not? Internal LFB documents had identified the likely failure mode at Grenfell in 2016, but frontline fire crew weren't adequately informed. The CFO spoke of the LFB's policy in these terms 'The Commissioner described many of the aspects of the building which the policy requires them to examine during a visit as "incorrect" and "not realistic."17 If that is so, it is not clear how the LFB came to produce such a flawed policy.' in the words of the report.

There's loads of stuff in here we as H&S practitioners need to consider. It is not a hatchet job on front-line forefighters; they are exonerated repeatedly for what seem to have been failings in management in LFB: failure to learn, failure to provide adequate training and procedures, and above all a disastrous failing of imagination. Don't read what the daily rags are saying, read the actual report.

Phase 1 already identified fainlings on the part of the other players, such as failure to meet the requirements of Part B. But once the fire started, LFB crews found themselves in a situation which they had not been trained to manage. They should have been, Grenfell was reasonably foreseeable and LFB managers should have foreseen it; a least, that's what the report concludes,

John

thanks 2 users thanked jwk for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 14/11/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 15/11/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#45 Posted : 15 November 2019 22:35:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

How do you know what has or has not been given to the police as evidence? It is only when someone is invited to defend what they did or did not do will such evidence come to light. Casting an aspersion in public about what the client was aware of has the possibility to distract from the actual evidence yet to be presented. No problem discussing how weak our standards are just asking we be considerate enough not to allow some legal eagle a get out to let the possibly guilty walk Scott free.

Regarding kicking the date - it is only this week a court date has been set for what will be a corporate manslaughter case for the Bosely wood floor mill explosion that occured in July 2015  

If I was the Police, which I'm not, my investigation would include the Designers of the cladding and window refurb projects, the Principal Contractor (inc. their accounts and records of materials required and ordered) as well as the people who signed off the products used.  There will be a H&S File containing COSHH information on the cladding and certificates for all materials used. There will also be Final certs signed by the Building Control. 

There will be more than that but I think that will go a long way to learning who did what when and how, and why the fire spread across the cladding so freely.

I do know for a fact that once a contract is signed the Principal Contractor may order different materials for the project or could leave ordering/manufacturing to a Sub Contractor and/or installer who may order sub standard materials.  The intention will be to save a little money and cheat the Client.

RayRapp  
#46 Posted : 16 November 2019 08:56:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I suspect on conclusion of the enquiry it will become established there were industry wide failings and Grenfell Tower was just one very unfortunate example of these failings - it could have easily happened elsewhere. There will be a host of issues around building regulations, fire legislation, fire cladding testing and approval, etc.

It is only natural for the survivors to look for retribution and justice for these failings. However, from previous examples, I suspect the authorities will have great difficulty in identifying individual and corporate failings which were directly attributable to the disaster.

Messey  
#47 Posted : 16 November 2019 13:53:04(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

Whilst Moore-Bick and his Inquiry Team take a lovely long weekend break, tucked up lovely and warm in their homes, another rapidly spreading cladding fire breaks out in Bolton, threatening the lives of students.

The fire follows reassurances given in June 2017 that 'The Cube' building was safe and did not contain combustable cladding. Someone has some questions to answer there 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-50445311

Maybe if the Inquiry had focused on the Grenfell building works and systems BEFORE they delved into the 999 response, they might be in a position to publish an interim report which might save lives. 

The Inquiry - and specifically the non chronological order of the Inquiry - is an absolute scandal

thanks 1 user thanked Messey for this useful post.
RayRapp on 16/11/2019(UTC)
RayRapp  
#48 Posted : 16 November 2019 16:09:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Messey, just seen the news article - shocking. I am no fire expert but it clearly looks like the outside of the top of the block (presumably cladding or wood) was combustible material.

Why are we so slow to learn from previous events and put proper measures in place?

Roundtuit  
#49 Posted : 16 November 2019 20:38:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

The fire is in the cladding - the BRE testing post Grenfell was for the cladding system - NO ONE has bothered with compartmentalisation between properties OR that many contractors omit fire stops (BBC report on Persimmon housing at the start of the year) OR that no one examines a build against the plans any more because the clerk of works was a cost rather than a benefit.

The cladding system could have been safe IF PROPERLY INSTALLED according to plan.

FireSafety 101 - the police HAVE questioned the supply chain and seized documentation. A number of employees remain under strict instruction on what they may or may not say dependent upon potential court action.

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