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Sirius B Project Donor
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Message 1878086 - Posted: 13 Jul 2017, 16:11:29 UTC

I'll lay odds that most here will recall their parents and/or their grandparents talk about "the good old days". Well here is evidence that shows that they were right.

"The way buildings were detailed, there was so much control, there were so many fire officers involved, and building regulations under the London Building Acts - it was far more strict."

Good old days

Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and many other famous icons of London. For the next decade, there will be another.

An iconic shadow over London
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Message 1878309 - Posted: 15 Jul 2017, 0:51:53 UTC

Don't send a high ladder to a tower fire! Yes, That's the order sir.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40614220
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack told Newsnight: "It was absolutely indefensible before Grenfell Tower to have such a postcode lottery of how we respond to fires in residential blocks of flats. After Grenfell Tower it's completely outrageous."

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Message 1878329 - Posted: 15 Jul 2017, 3:23:34 UTC

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/07/14/breaking-news/firefighters-battle-3-alarm-blaze-at-kapiolani-high-rise/
The initial call at 2:15 p.m. reported a fire on the 26th floor, but the fire later spread to the 25th and 27th floors and involved multiple units.

“Paramedics are expediting emergency treatment with a triage location inside the building,” she said. By 4:28 p.m., EMS had transported two patients — one in serious condition, the other stable — to a hospital.

The building was evacuated but Jenkins said there are reports of people trapped in their units. He did not have details on those reports, but a Marco Polo resident who was outside the building told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he could see people in some of the windows of the building.

The Marco Polo, a 36-story building next to the Ala Wai Canal and Ala Wai Community Park, was built in 1971 and has 586 units. It was built before a city began requiring sprinkler systems.

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Message 1878469 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 0:31:50 UTC

Real fire regulations, or the UK way?
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-fire-idUSKBN1A00LY
The conflagration, which broke out on Friday afternoon and took firefighters about four hours to extinguish, sent debris raining down from the Marco Polo tower onto an oceanfront tourist district, forcing the closure of a major road and sending thick, black smoke billowing over the city.

It also highlighted the absence of sprinkler systems in some older buildings. These became mandatory in Honolulu high-rises in 1974. The Marco Polo, which has 586 units, opened three years earlier.

"Without a doubt if there was sprinklers in this apartment, the fire would be contained to the unit of origin," Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves told reporters. It took more than 100 firefighters to control the blaze.

The blaze erupted a month to the day after the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the London high-rise where at least 80 people died in a fire in an older building also unequipped with sprinklers.

Note that date 1974. Look up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joelma_fire. Looks like real fire inspectors and real regulators learned the lesson in February 1974, Grenfeld was going up then and easily could have been made safe. Took UK a couple more decades to get the message.
Now for a real surprise
The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper reported that most floors of the building were reopened on Saturday afternoon, with residents allowed to return to check for damage and stay in their units if conditions permitted.

When you don't coat the outside of a building with flammable accelerant it looks like the passive systems might have a chance. Too bad some hotshot sales person was able to sell so much banned material to so many councils to cover their building and turn them into bonfires waiting for a match, but if you don't have professional regulators ... . a/k/a the fox guarding the henhouse

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-dead-in-fire-in-marco-polo-apartment-complex-fire-honolulu-hawaii/
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city needs to look at passing a law requiring older buildings be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Yes, about time. Does the UK have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing?
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Message 1878522 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 11:39:06 UTC - in response to Message 1878469.  
Last modified: 16 Jul 2017, 11:39:57 UTC

February 1974 was an interesting time in UK politics. A crisis general election was called on 7 February, the miners went on strike on 10 February, and inflation was running at 20% - leading to an emergency IMF loan two years later. The election was inconclusive, leading to a 'hung parliament', and the Labour party took over from Ted Heath's conservative government as a minority administration. They gained a majority, albeit a tiny one, at a second election in October the same year.

Things didn't really return to normal until Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979, and then consolidated her position by fighting a small jingoistic war in the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas, if you prefer). From that point forward, Thatcher embarked on a programme of privatisation and deregulation that we still suffer from today.

Somehow, I suspect that a fire in a far-away, third world, country (as it would have been seen at the time) didn't register as being all that important.
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Message 1878523 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 12:25:39 UTC

AS BUILT Grenfell Tower was a lot more fire resistant than after the modifications of the early 2000's - It had CONCRETE outer walls, no flammable insulation or cladding, it had good internal fire barriers. The compromises in the fire integrity of the building were brought about as a result of the requirement to meet thermal efficiency requirements which have their basis in regulations brought into play by the EU in the late 1990's and early 2000's, regulations which were enacted in stages by two successive governments "of different colours". A classic case of changing regulations to meet one set of demands while not considering the impact on other, possibly conflicting, demands. Then you add in the general incompetence of the "designers" of the modifications, and those assessing the impact of those modifications you end up with the tragedy that we have so recently seen.
Don't lay the blame for the tragedy at the feet of the politicians but firmly and squarely in the laps of those who advised the politicians that these ill thought through regulatory changes were "good and safe". (Can I suggest that one spends a few hours viewing or reading "Yes Minister" - a very eye opening satire on the way government actually works)
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Message 1878525 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 13:09:32 UTC - in response to Message 1878523.  

One would thought that this tragedy would be an eyeopener to other countries.
SVT can now reveal that at least ten large fires in Sweden have been affected by the fact that the buildings have been insulated with cellular plastic.
An insulation that is available in many different forms and sometimes also called frigolit/styrofoam.
- Cell plastic is a material consisting of a petroleum mixture and air. This makes it very flammable, says Ville Bexander, fire engineer at the Fire Protection Association.
Most likely there will be no measurements taken before a tragedy is a fact.
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Message 1878575 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 18:39:06 UTC

"He admits the 2016 fire risk assessment which worried Phil did highlight some issues with the compartmentation, but "didn't flag them as a serious risk" and says it was written by a "trained and professional expert"."

Is my tower block safe?
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Message 1878583 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 19:37:33 UTC - in response to Message 1878575.  
Last modified: 16 Jul 2017, 19:41:41 UTC

"He admits the 2016 fire risk assessment which worried Phil did highlight some issues with the compartmentation, but "didn't flag them as a serious risk" and says it was written by a "trained and professional expert"."

Clearly written by someone who understood that if he wanted to be hired again, he wasn't to find any problems, but also knew enough to document everything so he could escape liability if the place burned down and he got sued! Capitalism in fire protection is so wonderful.

But how did the remodels that compromised the building get though plan check?
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Message 1878585 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 19:54:37 UTC

was written by a "trained and professional expert"."


Yeh, sure, probably one like the gent we interviewed last week. We need to re-enforce our fire assessment team with some new blood. Good fire assessment engineers are a very rare breed so we know this going to be a long task. The candidate had a good CV apart from his lack of rail experience (which can be overcome). The interview is planned as an all day affair starting with a walk through the CV, then into a discussion about the candidates basic understanding of the processes involved in assessment. The after a break for lunch they either get part two, or go home. This guy was from the "building services industry", and had worked for at least one building services consultancy of some repute.
CV stage was a breeze (as it should be). Then came the "more interesting bit" - After a brief introduction as to what was going to happen the first real question of the day was rolled across the table:
"Describe the sort of process you would go through to confirm that a "new" cable type complies with the requirements of ENxxxxx? We do accept that you probably aren't too familiar with the standard, but just take us through the sort of process you would deploy."
"I would look to see where else the cable had been used, and then make a value judgement"
"Would you read the standard?
"Why?"
"Would you read the product data sheet?"
"No need to if the cable has already been used in the building services industry."
"Would you ask to see the certification?"
"No need to"

He didn't make lunch, but he did get a serious lesson in how to confirm compliance with required standards. And if he is typical of the "quality" of consultants employed in that industry......
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Message 1878590 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 20:07:01 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jul 2017, 20:24:01 UTC

Talking heads

"He previously blamed the decision to "view housing as only for financial speculation"."

Yep, money talks, everything else walks.

Also earlier today...

"But the chancellor does not think that public sector workers are overpaid - the government obviously respects the millions of people who do really important jobs."

...so Mr Hammond, what happened at Grenfell Tower & those "really important jobs"?

Is that the reason why Nicholas Paget Brown refused to resign at first?

Source
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Message 1878602 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 21:32:51 UTC - in response to Message 1878585.  

"Would you read the standard?
"Why?"
"Would you read the product data sheet?"
"No need to if the cable has already been used in the building services industry."
"Would you ask to see the certification?"
"No need to"
Shit.

I expected corners to be cut, with or without the aid of backhanders, but I didn't know things had got that bad. Was he still in nappies?
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Message 1878629 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 0:19:44 UTC - in response to Message 1878622.  

Many innocent lives have been lost. This topic is too important for his silliness.
& too important for yours as well.
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Message 1878630 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 0:25:46 UTC - in response to Message 1878622.  

Another garyism. Guessing he will eventually blame Trump for the last Ice Age.

Clyde, Yea, but Gary is correct and your ad hominem attact is typical of those who live under bridges.
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Message 1878642 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 1:01:42 UTC - in response to Message 1878631.  
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017, 1:02:12 UTC

Yeah we know you have. In fact you have already emphasised that your police & fire investigators are more competent than the rest of the world's, so I'll state it again, they weren't very competent on 9/11 were they!

When you have something postive to contribute to the thread, do so, until then, go visit your friends in South America for a few weeks :-)
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Message 1878650 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 1:14:26 UTC - in response to Message 1878642.  

When you have something postive to contribute to the thread, do so, until then, go visit your friends in South America for a few weeks :-)

I thought Clyde's people lived under bridges.
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Message 1878667 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 3:40:49 UTC - in response to Message 1878522.  

February 1974 was an interesting time in UK politics. A crisis general election was called on 7 February, the miners went on strike on 10 February, and inflation was running at 20% - leading to an emergency IMF loan two years later. The election was inconclusive, leading to a 'hung parliament', and the Labour party took over from Ted Heath's conservative government as a minority administration. They gained a majority, albeit a tiny one, at a second election in October the same year.

Things didn't really return to normal until Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979, and then consolidated her position by fighting a small jingoistic war in the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas, if you prefer). From that point forward, Thatcher embarked on a programme of privatisation and deregulation that we still suffer from today.

Somehow, I suspect that a fire in a far-away, third world, country (as it would have been seen at the time) didn't register as being all that important.
I'm sure it didn't to the general UK press at the time. It should have piqued the professional curiosity of the professional fire services though, who should have other sources of such news. Of course if they were wondering if they were going to get a paid, I could see it slipping by unnoticed. Too bad. If it had not slipped by how many would still be here?
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Message 1878672 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 3:46:52 UTC - in response to Message 1878650.  

When you have something postive to contribute to the thread, do so, until then, go visit your friends in South America for a few weeks :-)

I thought Clyde's people lived under bridges.
There are bridges in South America, just make sure you hold your nose if they go over a waterway.
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Message 1878709 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 8:00:42 UTC - in response to Message 1878667.  

I'm sure it didn't to the general UK press at the time. It should have piqued the professional curiosity of the professional fire services though, who should have other sources of such news. Of course if they were wondering if they were going to get a paid, I could see it slipping by unnoticed. Too bad. If it had not slipped by how many would still be here?
In a regime based on a poisonous combination of deregulation and compulsory competitive tendering, it's the cheapest corner-cutters that get (away with) the jobs.
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Message 1878738 - Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 13:58:55 UTC - in response to Message 1878602.  

I might have understood this from a fresh faced graduate with less than a year out in the big bad world, but from someone with over twenty years out here {expletives deleted}. We hadn't even got onto the difficult questions! I think we made a large hole below the waterline of his ego, and that of the agency that put him forward.
We had received references for him, but, as is our practice, placed them to one side - I bet they were "glowing", but are now occupying space in our shredder waste bin.
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