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London High Rise fire - Turning point for flammable cladding?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by basilio, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. basilio

    basilio

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    The horrific story in London at the moment is fire that has destroyed a 24 story apartment block with many as yet unknown causalities.
    Many questions have already been raised about exits, alarm systems, dodgy wiring. All of these issues were raised by residents within the last 5 years.
    But another key issue has been the rate at which the fire raced up and down the building through the highly inflammable aluminium cladding which had been installed in a refurbishment a few years ago.
    Apparently it went up like a Roman Candle.
    Hundreds of high rise apartments around Australia( and elsewhere) are clad in similar material.
    What happens next ?

    Key questions about the Grenfell Tower fire
    After blaze at block of flats in west London, recent refurbishment, the alarm system and ‘stay put’ advice come under scrutiny

    London fire - latest updates
    What we know so far
     
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  2. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    I wonder if it will force the retrofitting of fire tanks and sprinkler systems, these days a disaster like this usually causes a major backlash and it would be a worthwhile infrastructure project.
     
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  3. moXJO

    moXJO menace to society

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    Removal and refitting the cladding will cost millions. No one was willing to pick up the bill. I don't know how it passed in the first place.
     
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  4. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    I don't think there will be any removal and refitting, my guess it will be demolished, as no one will sign off on structural integrity.
     
  5. luutzu

    luutzu

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    I think he meant before the fire.

    That building's gone.

    Let's hope Australian building standards mean all those new high rises and apartments are fitted with proper fire escape and sprinklers system. Read before that up to a certain height, developers were not required to have sprinklers or fire escape. A couple of foreign students died in a fire nearby because of that.
     
  6. sptrawler

    sptrawler

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    I'm not certain, but I don't think sprinkler systems are mandatory, they are probably a worry from a vandal point.
    However a disaster like this, will put the duty of care issue front and centre, so it will be interesting to see if it blows over or blows up.
     
  7. luutzu

    luutzu

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    Really? Dam. Never going to live in any flat that's for sure.

    They might use this as an excuse to knock this and the other apartments down. For safety of course. Then rebuild new, gentrified apartments.
     
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  8. PZ99

    PZ99 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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    Towers with flammable composite cladding are going up in flames all over the world with regular monotony especially in places like Dubai. We had one in Melbourne a few years ago. First items jettisoned were the $150 office chairs. LOL
    Alucobest polymer sheets should have been banned years ago.
     
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  9. basilio

    basilio

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    Has only taken a millisecond for fire experts to identify the key issues in Grenfell Towers fire disaster - and point out the hundreds of other potential disasters waiting in the wings.

    Terrifying story, particularly in a world with some nasty crazies around.
    _________________________________________________________

    'Disaster waiting to happen': fire expert slams UK tower blocks
    Architect Sam Webb says breaches of fire safety standards in UK are common and lessons from Lakanal House have not been learned

    London fire - latest updates

    What we know so far


    4500.jpg

    Grenfell Tower smoulders after a fire ripped through the building in west London. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

    Oliver Wainwright and Peter Walker

    Thursday 15 June 2017 00.51 AEST First published on Thursday 15 June 2017 00.50 AEST

    “A disaster waiting to happen,” is how the architect and fire expert Sam Webb describes hundreds of tower blocks across the UK, after the fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington that has left at least six people dead. “We are still wrapping postwar high-rise buildings in highly flammable materials and leaving them without sprinkler systems installed, then being surprised when they burn down.”

    Webb surveyed hundreds of residential tower blocks across the country in the early 1990s and presented a damning report to the Home Office, which revealed that more than half of the buildings didn’t meet basic fire safety standards. He said: “We discovered a widespread breach of safety, but we were simply told nothing could be done because it would ‘make too many people homeless’.

    “I really don’t think the building industry understands how fire behaves in buildings and how dangerous it can be. The government’s mania for deregulation means our current safety standards just aren’t good enough.”

    Webb advised the legal team for the families in the case of the last major tower block blaze in London, in July 2009, when a fire raged through Lakanal House, a 14-storey block built in 1958 in Camberwell, south-east London. Six people were killed, among them two children and a baby, when a fire caused by a faulty television in a ninth-floor home gutted the building.

    An inquest into the deaths found the fire spread unexpectedly fast, both laterally and vertically, trapping people in their homes, with the exterior cladding panels burning through in just four and a half minutes. As with Grenfell Tower, the official advice was for people to remain in their homes in the event of a blaze. The inquest concluded that years of botched renovations had removed fire-stopping material between flats and communal corridors, allowing a blaze to spread, and that the problem was not picked up in safety inspections carried out by Southwark council. The council was investigated over possible corporate manslaughter charges, but eventually fined £570,000 under fire safety laws.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...g-to-happen-fire-expert-slams-uk-tower-blocks
     
  10. noirua

    noirua

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  11. basilio

    basilio

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    That is great site Noira. Well found and very useful !
     
  12. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    Has really no one even wondered what the role of Health and safety, following procedures like idiots had in this disaster?

    Emergency services arrive and do an assessment,
    then they cordonned the area to avoid any potential injury to emergency services and bystanders, we repeat the obvious "follow the textbook procedures": stay inside, lie low, etc etc and during that time people are burning
    no effort is made to allow people to jump, or get them (ES have access to breathing apparatus and could have gonbe thru the smoked stairs, to both fight the fire and save people
    and no helicopter are called to catch people from the roof as far as I know.
    Please Please Please prove me wrong!!!

    But all is good, everyone got its back covered.
    I see that as another symbol of the decadence of the west, similar to the response to the green plague invasion, the Trump masquarade etc, one more example of a civilisation clearly shooting itself in the foot->Too risque?
    This would have been a joke about communist Russia in the 1980, now it is our way of life...Whaty has happened?
     
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  13. luutzu

    luutzu

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    What's happening to the West?

    It's either budget cuts to social services and infrastructure; neoliberal assault on the common wealth; looting state treasury to fund corporate tax cuts, subsidise "investment" losses but further refuse their tax when it's profitable etc. etc.

    That or it's the fault of the Muslims and refugees.
     
  14. CanOz

    CanOz Home runs feel good, but base hits pay bills!

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    What are you trying to say? Were there no attempts at rescue at all? Was the building evacuated by alarm? Bl00dy h*ll mate there are a ton of other questions around how did it go so wrong without pointing the finger at First responders.....wtf?
     
  15. luutzu

    luutzu

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    I don't think he meant the faults was with First Responders. It's with politicians and city managers at the top deciding to cut services like fire fighting.

    It's been going on for decades now. They cut staff numbers, then they figured there's too many locations for so few staff... so they cut more locations. Pretty soon emergency services are on the fringes and closer to where the politicians and blue blood live, but not too close to be annoying.

    I took a drive a few months ago and saw banners protesting the closure of an ambulance station that's been there since ever. The gov't want to save a few bucks, take that land back to flog off to developers, "consolidate" ambulance services further out West.

    Who cares if it takes 30 minutes or 15 minutes longer for emergency to get to people right?

    So low pay, over worked, under resourced... then when they get to an emergency on this scale, there's not much they can do really.

    But of course politicians then turn up, tell the cameras that "we will do all we can to blah blah". Then back into that limo they go.
     
  16. luutzu

    luutzu

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    Current estimate put the dead at some 67. Fire possibly due to shoddy renovation work. Reports from residents of power surges, blackouts, fire emergency alarm not working. Residents complaints but was threaten with lawsuit, they can't get any lawyer because legal aid was cut.

    And oh, guess what the renovation was for? To put shiny new cladding around those ugly towers to make it fit in with the glitzy area - you know, so rich people won't have their view ruin by other people's poverty. Farkers! And those claddings further fuel the rapid fire engulfing the entire building.

    Now they really have a real excuse to knock all those towers down, move the landless peasants out of sight and gentrify the heck out of that part of Kensington.

    And over in the US, Trump just appointed his family's wedding planner to head the largest US office responsible for housing and urban planning. I guess her job title has planner in it, she's kinda black so she know the 'hood?
     
  17. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Flammable cladding in the UK and elsewhere, unreliable and expensive power in Australia, exploding fridges, washing machines catching fire, pipes that burst and flood the house after 10 years, unsafe electrical cables and on it goes.

    There's a common element in all of this. With a few notable exceptions such as Germany the "west" has shifted away from the rigid application of science, engineering and education more generally in favour of an approach where knowledge is something you just "buy in" when you think you need it. There's rather a lot of guesses being made and corners being cut, either intentionally to save costs or unintentionally due to lack of knowledge, in situations where expertise and getting it right ought to be considered essential.

    There's an awful lot of ticking time bombs out there that most are blissfully unaware of until the inevitable happens.

    I intend no disrespect to the innocent victims of this terrible tragedy but the harsh reality is that it was avoidable based on what is known and has been reported thus far.

    A highly flammable material placed over a residential building with an air gap. An obvious hazard that isn't at all hard to grasp.

    But, and this is my real concern, did whoever made the decision actually understand the danger?
     
  18. luutzu

    luutzu

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    Heard that the police privately estimate death toll to be some 150.

    When terrorist kill a handful its people, the media and the politicians talks about ramping up spending on security, more weapons, more military spending.. .all to keep the people safe, we can't be too careful.

    When this inferno happen, I swear the leader of the Tories, when asked whether she would have sprinkler systems install to other similar buildings... she ummm and arrsss...Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Sprinkler systems putting out fire? We're not too sure.

    The media gloss over the idea... there's some 20,000 buildings without sprinklers... how are we going to pay for all that expense? Let the poor pay for it, with their lives.

    They spent 9 million pound to do a facelift on each of those Housing apartment blocks. So that's $20M or so to make it look pretty on the outside. Pleasing to look at for the elite. Well, also to "insulate" as is claimed.

    From interviews of neighbours and survivors, the building only has one lift that rarely works; no sprinkler system - which would have cost only 200k pound [compare to the 9M]... A few years ago, a window to one of its apartments was defective and a kid fell to his death, nothing was done about it.
     
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  19. ThingyMajiggy

    ThingyMajiggy

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    It happened at ten to one in the morning too so everyone was probably at home unfortunately, not sure they'll ever know the total count.

    As for everything else you said, it doesn't meet their agenda, duh! More control, surveillance and power is their aim. Giving the people what they need and want, ha! Good one!
     
  20. qldfrog

    qldfrog

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    Not the persons, the rules and procedures.How long since you have worked in/with any department?
    But let's blame the cladding which have been there for ..50y?How many precedent?
     
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