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Richard Haselgrove Project Donor
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Message 1873220 - Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 22:49:49 UTC

Another name came up today that I hadn't heard for a while., in connection with the Lakanal House fire (2009, Camberwell, six dead). There was an inquest, but no public enquiry - and the inquest report ended up on the desk of Eric Pickles, then Communities Secretary.

Eric Pickles was elected conservative leader for Bradford City Council in the late 1980s and early 1990s. (Declaration of interest: I sued the council under his regime, and had to settle for £5,000 damages - which meant that I lost the chance to have the issue aired in court). Eric Pickles was not a popular leader, and was known as a proponent of Margaret Thatcher's ideas on privatisation and deregulation.

Apparently nothing was done with the Lakanal inquest report. I hope the new public enquiry looks into the role of the Communities Secretary then.
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Message 1873222 - Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 23:23:58 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jun 2017, 0:11:32 UTC

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/15/experts-warned-government-against-cladding-material-used-on-grenfell
At least one other London tower block has been refurbished using the same Reynobond aluminium cladding system used on Grenfell Tower. A planning application to renovate Clements Court in Hounslow, which has 13 storeys, was made in 2008. Planning application documents filed with the council detail plans to provide the building with a rainproof cladding, using the Reynobond brand of panels.
One architect, who has used similar systems, said cladding panels are also available with mineral wool insulation, which are less flammable but more expensive.
“I only use the mineral wool ones because your gut tells you it is not right to wrap a building in plastic,” he told the Guardian.
As far back as 2000, Gordon Cooke – a leading fire safety consultant – warned in a report commissioned by the mineral wool industry “the use of plastic foam cored sandwich panels ... is difficult to justify when considering life safety”.
He said the panels “can contribute to the severity and speed of fire development” and said this has led to “massive fire loses” in the past.

Is mineral wool expensive?
Sounds very weird to me.
Do they mean this?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_wool
or
http://www.rockwool.se/
Advantages of ROCKWOOL insulation
The basic component of our stone wool products is volcanic stone. The stone creates a foundation in the material that allows us to offer insulation products with a unique combination of benefits.
Stone wool is made of material that nature produces in abundance. Annually, 38,000 times more than we use in production. In addition, stone wool has a long shelf life, which guarantees untouched energy throughout the life of the building. Stone wool can withstand temperatures above 1000 ° C, thus providing high fire safety in the building, rock wool also protects against noise.
Learn more about the stone's characteristics:
Optimal fire protection
It can be said simply - stone is not burning. Therefore, our stone wool products provide a natural and superior protection against fire.
Good acoustics
It is not only heat and fire that does not penetrate the stone. ROCKWOOL rock wool products effectively prevent noise and noise from penetrating space and floors, as well as preventing noise coming from outside.
A sustainable solution
Few materials are as good as stones. Therefore, ROCKWOOL stone wool products retain their shape, stability and quality throughout the life of the building and protect against heat loss, fire and noise.
Good environmental choice
ROCKWOOL stone wool contributes to sustainable buildings, taking into account the environment, humanity and the economy.

Rockwool is much cheaper than mineral wool.
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Message 1873247 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 2:29:33 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jun 2017, 2:32:44 UTC

Reality Check: Why don't all high-rises have sprinklers?
Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted. This requirement wasn't applied retroactively so did not apply to Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974.

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), the trade body for the fire sprinkler industry, said retrofitting Grenfell Tower with sprinklers might have cost £200,000


And the punch line
In 2015, a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association said that nobody had ever died in a fire in the UK in a property with a "properly installed sprinkler system working the way it's meant to".


@Richard,
The Lakanal House fire is mentioned
Sir Ken Knight, the author of a report on the Lakanal House fire, said that while there was significant evidence of the effectiveness of systems such as sprinklers controlling fire spread in buildings, it was not considered "practical or economically viable" to enforce the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.

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Richard Haselgrove Project Donor
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Message 1873277 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 8:03:11 UTC - in response to Message 1873247.  

@Richard,
The Lakanal House fire is mentioned
Sir Ken Knight, the author of a report on the Lakanal House fire, said that while there was significant evidence of the effectiveness of systems such as sprinklers controlling fire spread in buildings, it was not considered "practical or economically viable" to enforce the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.
My comment was about fire precautions and building regulations in general, not about single issues like sprinklers.

Let's state the bleedin' obvious. For a fire to start and spread, it needs two things: fuel and oxygen. Oxygen is all around us, and by itself causes no problems. There have been discussions about the "chimney effect": that can replenish the oxygen used up in a fire, if fire breaks are not installed.

But I'm more concerned by the fuel: there was clearly fuel present on the outside of that building. It was wrapped up like a christmas parcel. Either the fuel was present in the cladding, or it was present in the insulation hidden behind the cladding, or both.

I'm getting the impression that building regulations are late, and prohibitive: anything is allowed until and unless it's forbidden. That's the same as the position until recently with 'legal highs' in the illicit drug trade. Are fuel-containing claddings the legal high of the building trade?

According to the BBC paper review, the Times has calculated that the price difference between fuel-laden cladding (plastic composite) and fuel-free cladding (mineral composite) would have been less than £5,000 for the whole building. That puts the price of a human life at around the £50 level.
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Message 1873288 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 9:08:44 UTC - in response to Message 1873277.  

What it all adds up to is for less than £1/week from the rent of each flat, the building could have been clad safer, had a sprinkler system installed and lighting in the emergency stairwell.
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Message 1873298 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 9:46:14 UTC

The police in London find that the identification work of the dead can not only linger - but may be almost impossible.
The death rate is expected to rise radically - as many as 100 people are feared having lost their lives in the fire, reports the British media.
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Message 1873316 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 11:14:04 UTC

I can't see this inquiry being speedy as many are requesting. It's going to be brutal with plenty of CYA & pass the buck.

A tale of two tower blocks

Empty properties should be seized

Blame game starts
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Message 1873324 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 12:02:51 UTC - in response to Message 1873316.  

I can't see this inquiry being speedy as many are requesting.

Me neither. Too many companies and people involved to inquire in this tragedy:(
Probably will take years.
And by that time many of them are not responsible any longer...
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Message 1873330 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 12:34:35 UTC - in response to Message 1873324.  
Last modified: 16 Jun 2017, 12:36:12 UTC

Police launch criminal inquiry...

...& this is going to help that inquiry

"Writing in the Guardian, David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said that arrests and prosecutions should follow the deadly blaze.

“Don’t let them tell you it’s a tragedy. It’s not a tragedy – it’s a monstrous crime. Corporate manslaughter. They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way,” he wrote. "
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Message 1873335 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 12:48:30 UTC - in response to Message 1873076.  

Big question for me: how did the fire cross from the alleged source - failed fridge/freezer in a fourth floor flat - to the cladding/insulation on the outside of the building?

But was it?
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Message 1873337 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 12:52:16 UTC - in response to Message 1873335.  

Big question for me: how did the fire cross from the alleged source - failed fridge/freezer in a fourth floor flat - to the cladding/insulation on the outside of the building?
But was it?
That was four years ago - I don't recall any disastrous fires in between times?

If any electrical device failed, fire would still have had to cross the gap.
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Message 1873341 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:06:01 UTC - in response to Message 1873330.  

Police launch criminal inquiry...
...& this is going to help that inquiry
"Writing in the Guardian, David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said that arrests and prosecutions should follow the deadly blaze.
“Don’t let them tell you it’s a tragedy. It’s not a tragedy – it’s a monstrous crime. Corporate manslaughter. They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way,” he wrote. "

I think we already know what caused the tragedy.
But who are to blame?
Nah. This will take years.
And if they convict somebodies.
What will the verdict be?
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Message 1873343 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:12:12 UTC - in response to Message 1873337.  

Big question for me: how did the fire cross from the alleged source - failed fridge/freezer in a fourth floor flat - to the cladding/insulation on the outside of the building?
But was it?
That was four years ago - I don't recall any disastrous fires in between times?

If any electrical device failed, fire would still have had to cross the gap.

You missed the point completely.

Residents had to force the TMO to take action.
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Message 1873344 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:14:51 UTC - in response to Message 1873337.  

Big question for me: how did the fire cross from the alleged source - failed fridge/freezer in a fourth floor flat - to the cladding/insulation on the outside of the building?
But was it?
That was four years ago - I don't recall any disastrous fires in between times?

If any electrical device failed, fire would still have had to cross the gap.

It could've just as easily have been some wacker/s cooking drugs as well a hoarder who's stash spontaneously combusted or several idiotic reasons as to what started it and we may never know the truth because the evidence has been totally destroyed.

Cheers.
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Message 1873351 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:33:17 UTC - in response to Message 1873344.  

...we may never know the truth because the evidence has been totally destroyed.

I think not.
Most likely the cause that started the fire will be known pretty soon.
The failed fridge/freezer seems to be a red herring to me.
I go for someone who cooked food in the middle of night and forgot to check whats happening in the kitchen.
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Message 1873353 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:35:37 UTC - in response to Message 1873343.  

Big question for me: how did the fire cross from the alleged source - failed fridge/freezer in a fourth floor flat - to the cladding/insulation on the outside of the building?
But was it?
That was four years ago - I don't recall any disastrous fires in between times?

If any electrical device failed, fire would still have had to cross the gap.
You missed the point completely.

Residents had to force the TMO to take action.
In which case, the point you were trying to make is a long way away from the line you selected from my earlier post.

Yes, a 'power surge' (never quite sure what those are, but I have experienced an earthing failure on a 3-phase building installation which presented 440 volts between live and neutral) could cause an electrical item such as a fridge/freezer to fail. I would, however, have expected multiple reports of similar electrical failures in other flats by now.

Four years ago, the modernisation hadn't taken place, and there was no cladding/insulation to conduct flames across the face of the building and into other flats. So, can you produce a quote which says that the 'power surges' (however explained in electrical terms) continued after the cladding was applied? That indeed might go to the heart of the matter.
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Message 1873355 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:43:56 UTC


I go for someone who cooked food in the middle of night and forgot to check whats happening in the kitchen.

Deep frying the old "fish'n'chips" and then getting distracted, then throwing water on the resulting fire sprang to my mind. ;-)

Cheers.
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Message 1873359 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 13:54:20 UTC - in response to Message 1873355.  

I go for someone who cooked food in the middle of night and forgot to check whats happening in the kitchen.
Deep frying the old "fish'n'chips" and then getting distracted, then throwing water on the resulting fire sprang to my mind. ;-)

Cheers.
Which is a hazard known in the UK for a century or more. So, how would it turn into a complete building inferno?
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Message 1873360 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 14:00:53 UTC - in response to Message 1873359.  

I go for someone who cooked food in the middle of night and forgot to check whats happening in the kitchen.
Deep frying the old "fish'n'chips" and then getting distracted, then throwing water on the resulting fire sprang to my mind. ;-)

Cheers.
Which is a hazard known in the UK for a century or more. So, how would it turn into a complete building inferno?

Open window and curtains, cladding.
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Message 1873361 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 14:05:27 UTC - in response to Message 1873360.  

Open window and curtains...
... on a warm summer's evening. We've all been there, except possibly the cladding designer.
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Message boards : Politics : Shocking!


 
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