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Pete

London Grenfell Tower Fire

29 posts in this topic

This was a disaster and should never have happened and in hindsight could have been avoided.
Surely an investigation will reveal the cause but however the fire started the whole building should never have lit up as it did.
It doesn't take an expert to realise that the outside cladding was burning like any regular plastic so how on earth could a product like this be used on a tower block ?

According to a press item today the cladding is allegedly "Reynobond".
A ten second google search identifies 2 types of Reynbond - polyethylene filler and flame retarding mineral inner.
The way the cladding burned would suggest the former could have been used so was this the wrong choice, an error, or a budget saving or what ? - heads should roll ( manslaughter comes to mind ) if there was anything inappropriate in this specification or procurement.

There are rigorous tests done to ensure materials safety, as shown in an extract below, so were these panels ever tested to this or a similar standard ?
These are the questions our media reporters should be asking.
Where are the council leaders and property managers - we want to hear their views ?

It took less than 10 minutes to research this and I am sure there are highly paid consultants and managers out there who should be starting to worry.

Sadly so many people have been killed and injured and made homeless for mistakes, incompetence or saving money and it has backfired big time.

When you cannot donate to a charity shop a top condition sofa unless it has the proper flame retardant labels, how on earth could you fit plastic panels to a high rise building ?

Reynobond PE is flexible to the core.
Reynobond PE features a polyethylene core that adds strength and rigidity to the coil-coated aluminum panels.
This maximizes its flexibility and formability, while maintaining a light weight for easy installation.
 
Reynobond FR adds an extra layer of protection.
Reynobond FR is manufactured just like Reynobond PE, but with a fire-retardant mineral core that guarantees higher resistance to fire.
These panels meet or exceed national model building code requirements without exception.

 

Thermal properties of polyethylene 

The usefulness of polyethylene is limited by its melting point of 80 °C (176 °F) (HDPE, types of low crystalline softens earlier). For common commercial grades of medium- and high-density polyethylene the melting point is typically in the range 120 to 180 °C (248 to 356 °F). The melting point for average, commercial, low-density polyethylene is typically 105 to 115 °C (221 to 239 °F). These temperatures vary strongly with the type of polyethylene.

 

5.4.2.1 The Steiner Tunnel Test.

The primary intent of the Steiner Tunnel Test is to quantify the wind-aided flame spread propensity of the material tested. It is the most common reaction-to-fire test method prescribed by U.S. model building codes. The Steiner Tunnel Test is described in ASTM E 84, “Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials,” and NFPA 255, “Standard Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials.” The apparatus, as shown in figure 24, consists of a long tunnel-like enclosure measuring 8.7 by 0.45 by 0.31 m. The test specimen is 7.6 m long and 0.51 m wide and is mounted in the ceiling position. It is exposed at one end, designated as the burner end, to a 79-kW gas burner. There is a forced draft through the tunnel from the burner end with an average initial air velocity of 1.2 m/s. A smoke photometer is mounted on the exhaust duct. The photometer consists of a white light source on one side of the duct and a photocell on the opposite side of the duct.

 The test measurements consist of flame spread over the surface and light absorption in the exhaust duct of the tunnel. The test duration is 10 minutes. A flame spread index (FSI) is calculated on the basis of the area under the curve of flame tip location versus time. The FSI is 0 for an inert board and is normalized to approximately 100 for red oak flooring. The smoke- developed index (SDI) is equal to 100 times the ratio of the area under the curve of light absorption versus time for the 10-minute test duration to the area under the curve for red oak flooring. Thus, the SDI of red oak flooring is 100, by definition.

The classification of linings in the model building codes in the U.S. is based on the FSI. There are three classifications: Class A, or I, for products with FSI ² 25; Class B, or II, for products

with 25 < FSI ² 75; and Class C, or III, for products with 75 <FSI ²200. Class A, or I, products are generally permitted in stairways. Class B, or II, products can be used in corridors, and Class C, or III, products are allowed in other rooms and areas. The model building codes do not permit interior finishes that produce excessive amounts of light-obscuring smoke. Products that have to be tested according to the tunnel test must have an SDI of 450 or less.

 

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I'm in the construction industry.

We have something called "Value Engineering ".

When a project comes in from tender over budget (often an unrealistic budget), VE begins.

Expensive things are re-specified cheaper, from the same or a different manufacturer. Corners are often cut, because if you can't get the building built (or refurbished) for the money the Client is willing to spend, then it doesn't get built and the project is shelved - nobody in the project team gets any fees.

Building Control, on most projects, have had to take on the Fire Officer role also, due to cuts, so the fire brigade generally get no direct say in anything but the largest buildings (maybe £50M plus). Building Control have so much to look at and approve, lots gets missed. LOTS.

90% of my role is compliance inspections, and on nearly every project, I pick up numerous items that BC have missed.

I'm a dog with a bone, I will not let anything slip the net, regardless of who has to pay to put things right.

If I had £5 for every time I have picked up something that could cause serious injury or death, I'd be sitting by the Med right now.

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Corporate manslaughter. I see this is being spoken about.

There is gross negligence manslaughter. Individuals should be indicted, not people hiding behind a corporation. There is too much of this.

If it takes a few minutes to discover the cladding is a fire hazard, unsuitable for the proposed purpose, then it follows so called experts would know this. A jury would not accept they did not [even if they didn't know b/c they were not fit for purpose].

The so-called experts had a duty of care to make sure the building was safe for use. They failed to discharge this duty b/c the building was unfit - it was made into a fire hazard. Due to this failure people suffered injury, death and loss of property etc.

This failure was so significant it amounts to gross negligence and as people died it is gross negligence manslaughter. Considering the emotive nature of this event, a jury would most likely find guilty and the maximum sentence is life. 

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I was shocked to learn that buildings could be clad with flammable materials - I had naively assumed that this would be utterly illegal.  Additionally, a 25-floor building with no fire alarms, and one set of stairs?  How is that not criminal?

I believe the core issue is that the cavity between the polyethylene and the original concrete structure of the building formed a 'wind-tunnel' of sorts, allowing the flames to be sucked upwards into a vortex and spread extremely quickly. 

Utterly horrifying; the media has actually done us a favour for once in heavily censoring the videos from that night... from some of the things I have seen on social media, the sounds coming from that building were haunting.

 

I am in no doubt that if this was due to negligence, I want to see life sentences for those individuals.

1 minute ago, sixgun said:

This failure was so significant it amounts to gross negligence and as people died it is gross negligence manslaughter. Considering the emotive nature of this event, a jury would most likely find guilty and the maximum sentence is life

Totally agree with you here. 

silverdreamracer likes this

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Friends on the ground in London say people are having none of this 'fridge accident' nonsense. This is only second hand but the residents were apparently visited by the council and fire department last Saturday and told 'if there's a fire, stay in your flat'.

I believe this a real, absolutely horrendous tragedy, and that it's not accidental (be it some nutter who was triggered by the warnings last weekend, or something else). Absolutely horrific stuff.

Compare and contrast the total lack of Westminster and London Bridge independent mobile footage with so many people who saw and filmed this, compare the passionate and outraged witness accounts - this is a major crime on some level in my book that has cost lives in the most terrible way possible.

Whoever is responsible in any way must be brought to justice.

Shocking.

 

sixgun, RisinSun, Vern and 2 others like this

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Great to see the communities come together, the locations gathering donations pleaded for no more donations other than money because their stores were full. The way communities even from my neck of the wood in Essex, mobilized within hours of the initial outbreak, happened to be awake because of the Islamic holy month (Ramadan) so getting some food in before sunrise. Was awesome to see London uniting in its time of need, prayers go out to those involved in this horrific incident. 

As @kimchisaid;

Whoever is responsible in any way must be brought to justice.

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Quick question. If the refurb passed existing fire safety standards, as appears it did, how could there be things like corporate manslaughter? This isn't an area I know much about so good to understand how things work.

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Quick question. If the refurb passed existing fire safety standards, as appears it did, how could there be things like corporate manslaughter? This isn't an area I know much about so good to understand how things work.


Do we know for sure that the refurbishment did pass fire safety standards?

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10 hours ago, Danny-boy said:

 


Do we know for sure that the refurbishment did pass fire safety standards?

 

Yes the firm who did it confirmed this.

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On 6/15/2017 at 14:19, Clens92 said:

I was shocked to learn that buildings could be clad with flammable materials - I had naively assumed that this would be utterly illegal.  Additionally, a 25-floor building with no fire alarms, and one set of stairs?  How is that not criminal

I read a comment about alarms etc on reddit

"Hi all, I am a fire engineer and work with building design, specifically are performance based design for fire life safety in buildings.
I see a lot of comments wondering about people evacuating and how the fire spread so fast. So I thought I'd try to explain but do note I did not work on this building and have no more building specific knowledge than you.


How did the fire spread so fast? From looking at it this most likely begun spreading so fast as a facade fire. The recently installed panels are most likely combustible or to be more specific they probably have an aluminum exterior but have a combustible core or insulation. As aluminum melts fairly easily, once the core is exposed the fire can spread rapidly across the surface preheating and melting off the aluminum skin of the panels ahead if it, exposing more combustible material and spreading faster.


Similar fires would be the lacrosse docklands fire (Melbourne) and a few of the spectacular looking fires in Dubai the past two years. These other fires though didn't spread into the building due to sprinkler systems mainly. It looks like Grenfell either didn't have a sprinkler system or it failed/was overwhelmed as the system is only designed to activate a few heads at a time and this fire would have triggered many more than the design case.


A bit more about the panels: from loooking at the company that did the contract work, the panels were most likely ACP/ACM - Aluminum Composite Panel/Material. These are thing sandwich panels, with a very thin aluminum face (generall 0.5mm), a core material (normally around 3 to 6mm) and an aluminum backing. The core material used in this building was likely combustible (duh from the fire). The most likely material was Polyethylene (PE) which gives off a lot of heat per kilo burned, almost as much as petrol. This means that a little bit of PE can generate a lot of heat when burned. For a comparison wood gives off only about 1/3 as much heat per kilo as petrol.


Regarding evacuation: In the UK most residential buildings operate in a 'defend in place' strategy. That is the apartment on fire and maybe those directly adjacent are alerted automatically and evacuated but the other apartments may not be alerted to a fire. This actually works fairly well and safely for internal fires as each apartment is generally fire separated from the next so fire spread internally doesn't often occur between apartments especially with sprinkler protection. Obviously with a rapid spreading external fire the idea of defend in place doesn't work well to improve occupant safety, rather it may contribute to delays in evacuation and more exposure to fire


Regarding the alarm system: To go with a defend-in-place strategy, an integrated building wide alarm system may not have actually been required by the code or by the project engineer.

Personally, that is not the way I would design the building, but there's more than one way to skin a cat."

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If anyone watches the cartoon series the "Simpsons" there is an episode in the Springfield nuclear plant where Mr. Burns, the owner, says to his finance director - "do they expect there to be real lead in the lead safety shielding" ?

I would have thought there would be more discussion in the press and on TV about the cladding.
Why has no-one spoken out yet in technical terms and where is the local MP ( or predecessor ) and the council or tower managers ?
Don't blame Theresa May for this disaster.


Remove one of the few remaining intact panels and let some experts vent their professional comments or even have an interview with the manufacturer.
People need to know and not wait years for a multi-million report that benefits the lawyers.
I suspect someone in a committee decided to save a few quid and bought the cheaper panels which look as if they are not fire rated or suitable for this project.
Some firms nowadays are run by bean-counters who fail to listen to their own experts, sometimes shut out of the final procurement process.

Time to get the controversial documentary producer of Fahrenheit 9/11 ( Michael Moore ) on the case.

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10 hours ago, Pete said:

I would have thought there would be more discussion in the press and on TV about the cladding.

I've felt like all fingers in the media have been pointing out at the cladding and cost cutting? 

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8 hours ago, Kman said:

I've felt like all fingers in the media have been pointing out at the cladding and cost cutting? 

Pointing yes BUT where is the panorama or other documentary showing the material that we can read about on the internet ?
Who specified the panels, who approved their use, who supplied and who knew beforehand that these panels were ( allegedly ) not designed for this purpose ?

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The stay put policy in event of a fire is based on the idea that a fire will remain contained. The issue here is flammable cladding was used which meant flats were not contained but were connected by flammable material. It does not take much thought to work this out.

There was no sprinkler system. There was one way out - one stairway [other than jumping out the window]. A fire in one flat, if it gets going will heat up the walls and thereby effect the cladding. If the fire alarm system is inadequate; residents at 1am could be oblivious [and were] to the impending danger. Even if they became aware they stayed put and signed their death warrant as once the cladding got going it spread over the whole building - we saw that, trapping people in their flats to be killed by fire and smoke.

Flats above the fire are cut off once the fire gets going - it is like the scenes at the Twin Towers where people were trapped. This appears to be what happened in this case. This is not rocket science. No doubt there will be excuses and bucket loads of whitewash applied. 

Edited by sixgun

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Screenshot_20170618-000334.thumb.png.c6777d11b736151951f970c3d0ad41eb.png

Whats happened is a tragedy but the socialist workers party have no shame.Infiltrating a grassroots protest for political gain and **** stirring.We don't know exactly what happened yet how the fire started,evacuation procedures,etc.I know there is a lot of stuff flying about at the minute but it seems that this tragedy is being turned into a political football.They were even hectoring Amir Khan telling him not to support may etc. Just find the whole thing a bit disgusting.I understand people are angry etc but it seems they are being used to push an agenda.These people just don't ****ing give up.

A criminal trial should take place and people made an example of if there has been incompitence/negligence but the way things are going it seems mob rule wins.At least arrest someone so it at least looks like something is being done.Otherwise the way things are going we're gonna have riots again which i'm sure Corbyn,the socialist workers party etc.would love.

Edited by SpacedMarine
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There has been a massive outpouring of love for those affected. i see massive amounts collected but as the woman says, who is this for? It would not surprise me if most of those in the flats died. That these collections have become a distraction. That potentially 100's have needlessly died. That Grenfell tower was simply a mass crematorium. Bring out the whitewash, lots of it will be needed. Will we ever know? Public enquiries often turn out to be cover ups

 

Edited by sixgun

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1 hour ago, sixgun said:

I believe these men are telling the truth. The government is covering up.

 

That's because you think literally everything is a conspiracy.

Using Moazzam Begg, the friendly neighbourhood terrorist, as a source is hardly helping your argument. 

If you're saying there is 600 dead, you have to provide the proof.  Videos of anarchists interviewing certain types of people isn't proof.

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21 minutes ago, Clens92 said:

That's because you think literally everything is a conspiracy.

Using Moazzam Begg, the friendly neighbourhood terrorist, as a source is hardly helping your argument. 

If you're saying there is 600 dead, you have to provide the proof.  Videos of anarchists interviewing certain types of people isn't proof.

i did not say how many may have died. In the first video we hear of the large amounts of clothes and food donated. Enough for an army. The woman on the spot who was helping says she knows the area and people. She says she hasn't seen survivors. Where are these survivors she asks? We have a mountain of food and clothes but who are we going to help? She believes they are dead. Official death counts are much lower than she estimates from her local knowledge of the numbers who lived in the flats.

The point of the second video, if we are to believe it, is the fire service found a large number of people dead in a flat who have not be disclosed to the publlic. This meshes with the first video. Would the government hide this information? i suspect it is very likely they would. There is a lot of anger so something like this would increase this.

Politicians on TV this Sunday were dodging the questions. A coroner's inquest should be automatic. A death that is sudden, violent or unnatural should be referred to the coroner. There would, in this case, be an inquest. i will keep my eye out for this. i wonder if any findings will be published.

The third video. i have no idea who this man is. So i do not prejudge what he says. i am not influenced by anything i might have been told. The man makes some good points. Whoever he might be or whatever he might stand for, the points are still valid.

None of this is absolute proof - this is not presented as proof. It is to bring other views from the 'BBC News' which is a propaganda arm of the establishment. Some people might post a video of what has been on the 'News' and think that is proof. i do not believe most of what is in the so-called news, i don't believe politicians and especially politicians who are in a corner, who are trying to pass the buck, dodge the question and whitewash events. Time and time again this scepticism is proven to be well founded.

There are many conspiracies in this world. The term conspiracy theories was created by the CIA in an attempt to shut down the questions arising after the JFK assassination. 

Edited by sixgun
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Absolutely shocking stuff. I still cannot believe it...the woman in the video talking about where the food and clothes are going to go to is spot on imo. I was at a gig at Wembley and they were collecting unbelievable amounts of money, you've never seen anything like it. I felt so sad because everyone meant well but through these big charities who knows where the money's going to go? (Just like the money for the 'improvement' which clearly seems to tbe the cause of this tragedy - they somehow spent £10m on that and there's still £2m missing!). Folk think they've done their bit but that money will take months at best to reach the victims if it ever does with all the red tape and managers and execs to pay, and the funerals need to be paid for NOW.  Like the lady said, sell the food and give the money direct to the families in need.

On a more positive note, being in and around London on Saturday there was a new found sense of community and kindness between everyone I met of all ethnic and religious groups. By and large the 'man on the street' is rightly (imo) outraged on many different levels, from the suspect refurb to the handling of the aftermath by our politicians (who we must never forget WE pay to act in OUR best interests). It was my local white friends who had told me that the Muslims were the heroes on the night getting everyone to safety as the Imam says in the video (another story I never saw mentioned on the national news).

 

Edited by kimchi
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3 hours ago, sixgun said:

I believe these men are telling the truth. The government is covering up.

 

1 hour ago, sixgun said:

None of this is absolute proof - this is not presented as proof

Why not try being sceptical for a change, instead of believing everything you read on the internet?

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Just now, sovereignsteve said:

 

Why not try being sceptical for a change, instead of believing everything you read on the internet?

i am permanently sceptical. i believe only a fraction of what i see. I watch the BBC News to see what they are lying out. 

Do i beleive the men who say they have spoken to a fireman who says 40 odd people were huddled in a flat?

Was it likely people were trapped? We saw people who were trapped. The people were told to stay put and in a short time they were trapped by the fire.

Would people move away from the fire and congregate in temporarily safer areas? It is only natural. So is it likely there would be areas of the building where people were huddled together? More likely than not. 

Having worked in [government] organisations where i was taught to lie and ticked off for telling the truth, do i think the discovery of a mass of dead people would be kept quiet and not disclosed at this time? I expect this information would be censored. I would be very surprised if it were released at this time or potentially at any time. The public is in no mood for this. Theresa May is pretty much finished now. There is talk of corporate manslaughter. There is a lot of anger. 

Do i know 40 odd people were found in a flat dead? No of course not. However on balance considering the media is controlled, the politicians are in a spot, the public mood, the plight of the prime minister, the nature of this fire from what we have seen. i think is a likely this is true and this is not being released to the public. 

i posted these videos to bring other views to the discussion. You deal with these are you wish. 

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You think the BBC is controlled by the government?:P

Why would they cover up the deaths of others over and above the numbers released? It makes no difference to how the government or the council would be regarded whether it's 50, 100 or 500 dead. Even if nobody lost their lives, the anti-goverment agitators will take the opportunity to criticise. There's more risk to the authorities being caught covering up extra deaths than the actual death toll being double that reported.

 

 

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