Discussion:
Grenfell Stay Put policy
(too old to reply)
The Todal
2018-07-11 09:43:19 UTC
Permalink
New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
of the Grenfell fire.

At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
urge residents to abandon the building.

Why not earlier?

"At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
requires senior operations managers to be notified."

She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision to
abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.

Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
unusually quick spread of the fire.

https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
Phi
2018-07-11 10:57:30 UTC
Permalink
"The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day of
> the Grenfell fire.
>
> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
> urge residents to abandon the building.
>
> Why not earlier?
>
> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
> fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
> requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>
> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision to
> abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>
> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
> unusually quick spread of the fire.
>
> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>
>

...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
instruction would have been sufficient.
Yellow
2018-07-11 11:58:08 UTC
Permalink
In article <pi4kau$qkb$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
>
> "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
> news:***@mid.individual.net...
> > New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day of
> > the Grenfell fire.
> >
> > At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
> > urge residents to abandon the building.
> >
> > Why not earlier?
> >
> > "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
> > fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
> > requires senior operations managers to be notified."
> >
> > She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
> > minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision to
> > abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
> >
> > Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
> > unusually quick spread of the fire.
> >
> > https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
> >
> >
>
> ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
> instruction would have been sufficient.

But it wasn't, so how that that observation help us decide how we should
deal with a future situation of a raging fire that is not playing by
"the rules", in the future?

"It cannot happen" or even "it should not happen" is arguably what aided
in so many people dying.
The Todal
2018-07-12 10:58:54 UTC
Permalink
On 11/07/2018 11:57, Phi wrote:
>
> "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
>> of the Grenfell fire.
>>
>> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
>> urge residents to abandon the building.
>>
>> Why not earlier?
>>
>> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
>> fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
>> requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>>
>> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
>> to abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>>
>> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
>> the unusually quick spread of the fire.
>>
>> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>>
>>
>
> ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
> instruction would have been sufficient.


Not necessarily.

The guidance is in a 2012 booklet, which has been examined by the Inquiry:
https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf

See page 27.

Jo Smith said she was *unaware* of this para:

"19.2
It is not implied that those not directly involved who wish to leave the
building should be prevented from doing so. Nor does this preclude those
evacuating a flat that is on fire from alerting their neighbours so that
they can also escape if they feel threatened"

You then have to bear in mind what follows.

"19.3
The alternative to a ‘stay put’ policy is one involving simultaneous
evacuation.
19.4
Simultaneous evacuation involves evacuating the residents of a number of
flats together. It requires a means to alert all of these residents to
the need to evacuate, ie a fire detection and alarm system.
Purpose-built blocks of flats are not normally provided with such systems."

(Grenfell Tower used to have a communal alarm system many years ago, but
it had no such system in recent years)
GB
2018-07-12 12:31:24 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 11:58, The Todal wrote:

> Simultaneous evacuation involves evacuating the residents of a number of
> flats together. It requires a means to alert all of these residents to
> the need to evacuate, ie a fire detection and alarm system.
> Purpose-built blocks of flats are not normally provided with such systems."

It also involves bring around 400 people down up to 24 flights of stairs
(IIRC). Some/many of these people are not used to walking such
distances, and some are physically unable to do so. Consequently,
evacuation means accepting at least some injuries, and possibly some deaths.

Suppose that evacuation involves *on average* 1 death each time a large
block is evacuated, then evacuating unnecessarily 70 times would involve
just as many deaths as occurred at Grenfell. I have no idea about the
true statistics, but evacuation is certainly not a decision to be taken
lightly.
Yellow
2018-07-12 14:03:54 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@mid.individual.net>, ***@icloud.com
says...
>
> On 11/07/2018 11:57, Phi wrote:
> >
> > "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
> > news:***@mid.individual.net...
> >> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
> >> of the Grenfell fire.
> >>
> >> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
> >> urge residents to abandon the building.
> >>
> >> Why not earlier?
> >>
> >> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
> >> fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
> >> requires senior operations managers to be notified."
> >>
> >> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
> >> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
> >> to abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
> >>
> >> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
> >> the unusually quick spread of the fire.
> >>
> >> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
> >>
> >>
> >
> > ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
> > instruction would have been sufficient.
>
>
> Not necessarily.
>
> The guidance is in a 2012 booklet, which has been examined by the Inquiry:
> https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf
>
> See page 27.
>
> Jo Smith said she was *unaware* of this para:
>
> "19.2
> It is not implied that those not directly involved who wish to leave the
> building should be prevented from doing so. Nor does this preclude those
> evacuating a flat that is on fire from alerting their neighbours so that
> they can also escape if they feel threatened"
>
> You then have to bear in mind what follows.
>
> "19.3
> The alternative to a ?stay put? policy is one involving simultaneous
> evacuation.
> 19.4
> Simultaneous evacuation involves evacuating the residents of a number of
> flats together. It requires a means to alert all of these residents to
> the need to evacuate, ie a fire detection and alarm system.
> Purpose-built blocks of flats are not normally provided with such systems."
>
> (Grenfell Tower used to have a communal alarm system many years ago, but
> it had no such system in recent years)

My mother lives in a building with a stay-put policy and my
understanding is that you only stay-put in the first instance, the idea
being that you should be safe given the fire is not in your flat or in
the immediate vicinity for up to an hour.

I do not believe however that the idea is for the fire service to say
"times up, now evacuate" but instead evacuation would begin as soon as
it is clear the fire is not contained.

The stay-put policy just gives them "up to an hour" and continuing
assessments should be made to decide at what point people start to leave
the building.
The Todal
2018-07-12 21:22:53 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 15:03, Yellow wrote:
> In article <***@mid.individual.net>, ***@icloud.com
> says...

>>
>> "19.2
>> It is not implied that those not directly involved who wish to leave the
>> building should be prevented from doing so. Nor does this preclude those
>> evacuating a flat that is on fire from alerting their neighbours so that
>> they can also escape if they feel threatened"
>>
>> You then have to bear in mind what follows.
>>
>> "19.3
>> The alternative to a ?stay put? policy is one involving simultaneous
>> evacuation.
>> 19.4
>> Simultaneous evacuation involves evacuating the residents of a number of
>> flats together. It requires a means to alert all of these residents to
>> the need to evacuate, ie a fire detection and alarm system.
>> Purpose-built blocks of flats are not normally provided with such systems."
>>
>> (Grenfell Tower used to have a communal alarm system many years ago, but
>> it had no such system in recent years)
>
> My mother lives in a building with a stay-put policy and my
> understanding is that you only stay-put in the first instance, the idea
> being that you should be safe given the fire is not in your flat or in
> the immediate vicinity for up to an hour.
>
> I do not believe however that the idea is for the fire service to say
> "times up, now evacuate" but instead evacuation would begin as soon as
> it is clear the fire is not contained.
>
> The stay-put policy just gives them "up to an hour" and continuing
> assessments should be made to decide at what point people start to leave
> the building.
>

Absolutely right.

If you stay put, the firefighters will eventually come and get you if
you are in danger. If the fire has been safely contained, you need do
nothing at all.

But at Grenfell the decision was eventually made by Jo Smith to abandon
the stay put policy and to urge all remaining residents to get out of
the building, even if were scared of the smoke and heat.

And this evidence is, to my mind, rather chilling.

quote

Q. Okay. Did you take any steps to ensure that residents understood that
rescue crews were no longer coming for them?
A. No.
Q. Why is that?
A. Because of the distress we perceive that that decision and that
announcement would make to people, and by giving them a change of
decision, and by giving them the new advice, actually the control
operators felt more helpful, I believe, with doing that, rather than
telling them to protect themselves, which was becoming an impossible
task. So a new plan to start telling them to evacuate, start giving them
some positive actions to carry out, that would be detrimental by saying
that actually crews can't get to you.
GB
2018-07-12 21:27:01 UTC
Permalink
Crews with training, insulated clothes, and breathing apparatus can no
longer work in the building, but please come down the stairs on your
own. As you say, chilling.
The Todal
2018-07-13 13:26:35 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 22:27, GB wrote:
> Crews with training, insulated clothes, and breathing apparatus can no
> longer work in the building, but please come down the stairs on your
> own. As you say, chilling.
>

I don't know if the Inquiry will make any criticisms of the control room
for failing to tell the residents that the firefighters were no longer
able to enter the building to help residents leave.

It must have been a difficult decision but I'm not sure they actually
gave it much thought. There was no need to say that the firefighters
were unable to make their way past intolerable heat and smoke, only to
say that they were carrying out so many rescues that it would be
impossible to reach everyone in time.

I'm sure the inquiry won't be "blaming" the fire brigade staff for any
decisions they made - only suggesting different and perhaps better
procedures for the future.

And, of course, there was at least one family with small children that
did not want to attempt the long descent through the smoke and begged
the control room to provide something to break their fall so that they
could jump from the 18th floor window. It must have been very painful
for the control room staff to deal with these calls.

See eg
https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/997/download?token=KF2zmllS
Martin Brown
2018-07-13 08:20:07 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 22:22, The Todal wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 15:03, Yellow wrote:
>> In article <***@mid.individual.net>, ***@icloud.com
>> says...
>
>>>
[snip]
>>> 19.4
>>> Simultaneous evacuation involves evacuating the residents of a number of
>>> flats together. It requires a means to alert all of these residents to
>>> the need to evacuate, ie a fire detection and alarm system.
>>> Purpose-built blocks of flats are not normally provided with such
>>> systems."
>>>
>>> (Grenfell Tower used to have a communal alarm system many years ago, but
>>> it had no such system in recent years)

Simultaneous evacuation floor by floor does not require an alarm system
at all. The landing is not so huge that a couple of firemen cannot bang
like hell on every door in fairly short order. It would have helped if
the floor by floor smoke extraction was in a working condition (another
negligent maintenance / sloppy building fire precautions issue).

>> I do not believe however that the idea is for the fire service to say
>> "times up, now evacuate" but instead evacuation would begin as soon as
>> it is clear the fire is not contained.

That is certainly what you would hope.

>> The stay-put policy just gives them "up to an hour" and continuing
>> assessments should be made to decide at what point people start to leave
>> the building.
>>
>
> Absolutely right.
>
> If you stay put, the firefighters will eventually come and get you if
> you are in danger. If the fire has been safely contained, you need do
> nothing at all.

Which works fine for a properly designed and built building but is damn
all use if the building has been covered in highly flammable plastic.

> But at Grenfell the decision was eventually made by Jo Smith to abandon
> the stay put policy and to urge all remaining residents to get out of
> the building, even if were scared of the smoke and heat.
>
> And this evidence is, to my mind, rather chilling.

Indeed it is, but what choice did they have in practice? Stay put and
face certain death or take a chance fighting their way down a staircase
in zero visibility thick toxic smoke. I know which I would choose. YMMV

> quote
>
> Q. Okay. Did you take any steps to ensure that residents understood that
> rescue crews were no longer coming for them?
> A. No.
> Q. Why is that?
> A. Because of the distress we perceive that that decision and that
> announcement would make to people, and by giving them a change of
> decision, and by giving them the new advice, actually the control
> operators felt more helpful, I believe, with doing that, rather than
> telling them to protect themselves, which was becoming an impossible
> task. So a new plan to start telling them to evacuate, start giving them
> some positive actions to carry out, that would be detrimental by saying
> that actually crews can't get to you.

Questionable ethically but when the firefighters can no longer work in
parts of the building I can't see that Private Frazer or Corporal Jones
approach would be any more helpful to the poor sods trapped in there.

One thing that the help line probably did get wrong is failing to tell
people to always go downwards to make their escape and never to go up.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
GB
2018-07-13 11:09:24 UTC
Permalink
On 13/07/2018 09:20, Martin Brown wrote:
> It would have helped if
> the floor by floor smoke extraction was in a working condition (another
> negligent maintenance / sloppy building fire precautions issue).

The tower blocks I knew had freezing cold landings because of the
always-open smoke extract vents. When energy saving became the rage,
these vents were stopped up.
Phi
2018-07-11 13:25:50 UTC
Permalink
"Yellow" <***@none.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:***@News.Individual.NET...
> In article <pi4kau$qkb$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
>>
>> "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
>> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>> > New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
>> > of
>> > the Grenfell fire.
>> >
>> > At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
>> > urge residents to abandon the building.
>> >
>> > Why not earlier?
>> >
>> > "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
>> > fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
>> > requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>> >
>> > She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>> > minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
>> > to
>> > abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>> >
>> > Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
>> > unusually quick spread of the fire.
>> >
>> > https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>> >
>> >
>>
>> ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
>> instruction would have been sufficient.
>
> But it wasn't, so how that that observation help us decide how we should
> deal with a future situation of a raging fire that is not playing by
> "the rules", in the future?
>
> "It cannot happen" or even "it should not happen" is arguably what aided
> in so many people dying.


I am looking at the mindset of the firemen tackling the fire. If they had
been told of the flammability of the cladding, perhaps the ingrained
instructions of 'staying put' would have been changed earlier.
The Todal
2018-07-11 13:37:38 UTC
Permalink
On 11/07/2018 14:25, Phi wrote:
>
> "Yellow" <***@none.com.invalid> wrote in message
> news:***@News.Individual.NET...
>> In article <pi4kau$qkb$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
>>>
>>> "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
>>> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>>> > New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the
>>> day > of
>>> > the Grenfell fire.
>>> >
>>> > At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
>>> > urge residents to abandon the building.
>>> >
>>> > Why not earlier?
>>> >
>>> > "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
>>> > fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
>>> > requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>>> >
>>> > She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>>> > minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the
>>> decision > to
>>> > abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>>> >
>>> > Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
>>> the
>>> > unusually quick spread of the fire.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>>> >
>>> >
>>>
>>> ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
>>> instruction would have been sufficient.
>>
>> But it wasn't, so how that that observation help us decide how we should
>> deal with a future situation of a raging fire that is not playing by
>> "the rules", in the future?
>>
>> "It cannot happen" or even "it should not happen" is arguably what aided
>> in so many people dying.
>
>
> I am looking at the mindset of the firemen tackling the fire. If they
> had been told of the flammability of the cladding, perhaps the ingrained
> instructions of 'staying put' would have been changed earlier.

You don't seem to have followed the evidence given by the firemen who
were tackling the fire.

They knew from past experience that fire could break out of its
"compartments". They could see for themselves that the fire was
spreading quickly up the building from one kitchen to another. They
began rescuing various tenants. The policy of "stay put" is not a Fire
brigade policy, it's designed into the building by the architects. You
can only abandon "stay put" if you are sure that it's safer to descend a
staircase in suffocating smoke than to wait for the firemen to come up
and find you and rescue you.

Knowing about the flammability of the cladding isn't the issue.
Yellow
2018-07-11 23:16:11 UTC
Permalink
In article <pi4t13$96m$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
>
> "Yellow" <***@none.com.invalid> wrote in message
> news:***@News.Individual.NET...
> > In article <pi4kau$qkb$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
> >>
> >> "The Todal" <***@icloud.com> wrote in message
> >> news:***@mid.individual.net...
> >> > New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
> >> > of
> >> > the Grenfell fire.
> >> >
> >> > At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
> >> > urge residents to abandon the building.
> >> >
> >> > Why not earlier?
> >> >
> >> > "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
> >> > fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
> >> > requires senior operations managers to be notified."
> >> >
> >> > She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
> >> > minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
> >> > to
> >> > abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
> >> >
> >> > Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
> >> > unusually quick spread of the fire.
> >> >
> >> > https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >> ...but if the building had been in it's original livery, the 'stay put'
> >> instruction would have been sufficient.
> >
> > But it wasn't, so how that that observation help us decide how we should
> > deal with a future situation of a raging fire that is not playing by
> > "the rules", in the future?
> >
> > "It cannot happen" or even "it should not happen" is arguably what aided
> > in so many people dying.
>
>
> I am looking at the mindset of the firemen tackling the fire. If they had
> been told of the flammability of the cladding, perhaps the ingrained
> instructions of 'staying put' would have been changed earlier.

The evidence being presenting does not bear out your suggestion.
Martin Brown
2018-07-12 07:31:50 UTC
Permalink
On 11/07/2018 10:43, The Todal wrote:
> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
> of the Grenfell fire.
>
> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
> urge residents to abandon the building.
>
> Why not earlier?
>
> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
> fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
> requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>
> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision to
> abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.

In essence the problem that the fire brigade had was that they thought
they were dealing with a properly designed building with a domestic
interior kitchen fire. They were actually facing an incendiary bomb made
of highly flammable cladding that had been ignited by a domestic fire.

It was not unlike the huge BASF PE warehouse fire on Teesside although
smaller in scale the combustible plastic material was the same.

The thing to do for the future until this terrible material is removed
is to flag all the buildings with it on as "Chemical plants" which ISTR
gives 6 tenders immediately and a next level commander by default.

> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of the
> unusually quick spread of the fire.
>
> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5

The building should never have been permitted to exist in this state.

The people that did that to the building have to go to jail. There is no
other practical solution to this - it is an engineering cockup on the
same scale as having a motorway bridge fall down because cowboy builders
used the wrong sort of concrete in its construction/renovation.

Complaining about how ineffective the firefighters were against an
impossible and unwinnable real life situation is utterly futile.

BTW I was horrified to see on Newsnight the fullscale test of the "best"
so-called G2 "limited combustibility" aluminium core grade of cladding
failing almost as badly because of the glue used to hold it together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feOPjw8jjiA

About 3 mins in. It is a very tricky problem.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
The Todal
2018-07-12 09:53:50 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 08:31, Martin Brown wrote:
> On 11/07/2018 10:43, The Todal wrote:
>> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the day
>> of the Grenfell fire.
>>
>> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and to
>> urge residents to abandon the building.
>>
>> Why not earlier?
>>
>> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight pump
>> fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or more
>> requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>>
>> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
>> to abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>
> In essence the problem that the fire brigade had was that they thought
> they were dealing with a properly designed building with a domestic
> interior kitchen fire. They were actually facing an incendiary bomb made
> of highly flammable cladding that had been ignited by a domestic fire.

And maybe Fire Brigade policies and procedures only suit slow-burning fires.

Like having an army and navy which doesn't understand tanks and can only
deal with enemy troops mounted on horses, perhaps.

However, the Inquiry is spending a lot of its time trying to establish
why certain policies and procedures issued by the Fire Brigade before
Grenfell were seemingly not taught to the officers or implemented.


>
> It was not unlike the huge BASF PE warehouse fire on Teesside although
> smaller in scale the combustible plastic material was the same.
>
> The thing to do for the future until this terrible material is removed
> is to flag all the buildings with it on as "Chemical plants" which ISTR
> gives 6 tenders immediately and a next level commander by default.
>
>> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
>> the unusually quick spread of the fire.
>>
>> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>
> The building should never have been permitted to exist in this state.
>
> The people that did that to the building have to go to jail. There is no
> other practical solution to this - it is an engineering cockup on the
> same scale as having a motorway bridge fall down because cowboy builders
> used the wrong sort of concrete in its construction/renovation.

Sending people to gaol never solves anything. You don't prevent another
Hillsborough by prosecuting Officer Duckenfield and sending him to
prison. What prevents another Hillsborough is the careful analysis of
how the overcrowding occurred and the rules and standards that have been
introduced since the disaster.


>
> Complaining about how ineffective the firefighters were against an
> impossible and unwinnable real life situation is utterly futile.

Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity in
their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been saved if
things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.

We know of course that the building could not have been saved from
destruction. That's a given. The issue here is whether more lives could
have been saved.

>
> BTW I was horrified to see on Newsnight the fullscale test of the "best"
> so-called G2 "limited combustibility" aluminium core grade of cladding
> failing almost as badly because of the glue used to hold it together.
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feOPjw8jjiA
>
> About 3 mins in. It is a very tricky problem.
>
GB
2018-07-12 12:21:33 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:

> However, the Inquiry is spending a lot of its time trying to establish
> why certain policies and procedures issued by the Fire Brigade before
> Grenfell were seemingly not taught to the officers or implemented.
>

That's simple. You can have a lengthy and complicated rule book for
solicitors, and by and large it gets complied with, precisely because
solicitors are the type of people who actually like lengthy and
complicated rule books. There's a self-selection process and a
qualification process that mostly weeds out people who don't like
reading lengthy screeds. There's no requirement for solicitors to be
extremely strong and fit, good with heights, and unafraid of smoke and
flames, whilst those are some of the chief qualities the fire brigade
selects for.

Your question is probably wrongly phrased. It should be more along the
lines of how the fire brigade can rewrite their policies and procedures
so as to make them suitable for use in places other than the court room.





>
> Sending people to gaol never solves anything. You don't prevent another
> Hillsborough by prosecuting Officer Duckenfield and sending him to
> prison. What prevents another Hillsborough is the careful analysis of
> how the overcrowding occurred and the rules and standards that have been
> introduced since the disaster.

Pour encourager les autres?




>
>
>>
>> Complaining about how ineffective the firefighters were against an
>> impossible and unwinnable real life situation is utterly futile.
>
> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity in
> their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been saved if
> things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.

You are effectively saying that the fire service would be unable to
learn from its mistakes without the benefit of a public enquiry to
assist them. The purpose of the enquiry is to be public, whereas any
learning exercise by the fire brigade might be just as effective (if not
more so) but would be private.


>
> We know of course that the building could not have been saved from
> destruction. That's a given. The issue here is whether more lives could
> have been saved.

Surely, you mean : Can more lives be saved next time?
The Todal
2018-07-12 12:32:33 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 13:21, GB wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:

>>
>> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
>> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity
>> in their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been
>> saved if things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.
>
> You are effectively saying that the fire service would be unable to
> learn from its mistakes without the benefit of a public enquiry to
> assist them. The purpose of the enquiry is to be public, whereas any
> learning exercise by the fire brigade might be just as effective (if not
> more so) but would be private.
>

You could say the same about public inquiries into children who are
murdered because the social services didn't take enough action. Or about
hospitals where there are too many deaths due to bad clinical errors. Or
the doctors or nurses who kill patients. Just leave it to the officials
and organisations to conduct private enquiries. Save their blushes,
don't embarrass them in public.

A public inquiry ensures that all relevant aspects are properly explored
and that no cosy assumptions are made about the efficiency of teams who
make their own rules.
GB
2018-07-12 13:27:40 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 13:32, The Todal wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 13:21, GB wrote:
>> On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:
>
>>>
>>> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
>>> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity
>>> in their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been
>>> saved if things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.
>>
>> You are effectively saying that the fire service would be unable to
>> learn from its mistakes without the benefit of a public enquiry to
>> assist them. The purpose of the enquiry is to be public, whereas any
>> learning exercise by the fire brigade might be just as effective (if
>> not more so) but would be private.
>>
>
> You could say the same about public inquiries into children who are
> murdered because the social services didn't take enough action. Or about
> hospitals where there are too many deaths due to bad clinical errors. Or
> the doctors or nurses who kill patients. Just leave it to the officials
> and organisations to conduct private enquiries. Save their blushes,
> don't embarrass them in public.

I did NOT say that, actually. I fully support having a public enquiry,
but *not* because it's the most effective way of learning from the
mistakes made.

The AAIB manages to be highly effective without the palaver of a public
enquiry, and it publishes its findings. That seems a sensible
compromise. Bear in mind that they can sometimes have to deal with far
greater death tolls, too.

Just as an example, witnesses may be able to give a more helpful account
if questioned quietly in private, rather than in front of TV cameras.
It's clear that some of the witnesses are very upset by the current process.

No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.

>
> A public inquiry ensures that all relevant aspects are properly explored
> and that no cosy assumptions are made about the efficiency of teams who
> make their own rules.
The Todal
2018-07-12 13:51:00 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 14:27, GB wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 13:32, The Todal wrote:
>> On 12/07/2018 13:21, GB wrote:
>>> On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:
>>
>>>>
>>>> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
>>>> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity
>>>> in their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been
>>>> saved if things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.
>>>
>>> You are effectively saying that the fire service would be unable to
>>> learn from its mistakes without the benefit of a public enquiry to
>>> assist them. The purpose of the enquiry is to be public, whereas any
>>> learning exercise by the fire brigade might be just as effective (if
>>> not more so) but would be private.
>>>
>>
>> You could say the same about public inquiries into children who are
>> murdered because the social services didn't take enough action. Or
>> about hospitals where there are too many deaths due to bad clinical
>> errors. Or the doctors or nurses who kill patients. Just leave it to
>> the officials and organisations to conduct private enquiries. Save
>> their blushes, don't embarrass them in public.
>
> I did NOT say that, actually. I fully support having a public enquiry,
> but *not* because it's the most effective way of learning from the
> mistakes made.
>
> The AAIB manages to be highly effective without the palaver of a public
> enquiry, and it publishes its findings. That seems a sensible
> compromise. Bear in mind that they can sometimes have to deal with far
> greater death tolls, too.
>
> Just as an example, witnesses may be able to give a more helpful account
> if questioned quietly in private, rather than in front of TV cameras.
> It's clear that some of the witnesses are very upset by the current
> process.


I've watched many hours of testimony and I absolutely disagree that some
of the witnesses are upset "by the current process".

They are upset when they recall the events of the fire. Many of them are
likely to be suffering from PTSD. They would be equally upset if they
were explaining their actions in a private room in front of a board of
inquiry with no TV cameras.

The witnesses mainly seem to be remarkably stoical and when offered the
opportunity to take a break, often say there is no need.



>
> No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.

And to be an enquiry (or rather, Inquiry). Yes, that's clearly true.

In the past, you'd have had to go along in person to an Inquiry if you
wanted to see what was happening. It's rather wonderful that there's no
need to pay train fares and queue and cram with other people into a
small room, because it can all be seen online - the live stream of
evidence given, which is then available to re-play whenever you want,
and the written transcripts of evidence, and the source documents. If
most members of the public aren't interested until there is an
announcement of a prosecution, that's their loss.

I should think many victims, and families of victims, and those who
still live in high-rise flats, are likely to take a keen interest in
what's being said by the witnesses. If you're trapped by smoke in your
flat on the 20th floor and you ring the Fire Brigade for help and
advice, it's not very satisfactory when you hear "Well, I obviously
can't really advise you".
GB
2018-07-12 14:43:52 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:

> The witnesses mainly seem to be remarkably stoical and when offered the
> opportunity to take a break, often say there is no need.

I certainly have not watched hours of testimony, and I'm delighted to
hear that the witnesses are bearing up under the strain.

Are you watching it purely out of personal interest or on behalf of some
other body? If the latter, I'm sure you're an excellent choice!



>
>
>
>>
>> No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.
>
> And to be an enquiry (or rather, Inquiry). Yes, that's clearly true.

"inquiry NOUN another term for enquiry"

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inquiry

My point is that a less formal private enquiry (or inquiry, if you
prefer) is not necessarily a cover-up and can be highly effective at a
fraction of the cost.




> If you're trapped by smoke in your
> flat on the 20th floor and you ring the Fire Brigade for help and
> advice, it's not very satisfactory when you hear "Well, I obviously
> can't really advise you".

You're speaking to a telephone operator.
The Todal
2018-07-12 21:10:09 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 15:43, GB wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
>
>> The witnesses mainly seem to be remarkably stoical and when offered
>> the opportunity to take a break, often say there is no need.
>
> I certainly have not watched hours of testimony, and I'm delighted to
> hear that the witnesses are bearing up under the strain.
>
> Are you watching it purely out of personal interest or on behalf of some
> other body? If the latter, I'm sure you're an excellent choice!
>
>
>
>>
>>
>>
>>>
>>> No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.
>>
>> And to be an enquiry (or rather, Inquiry). Yes, that's clearly true.
>
> "inquiry NOUN another term for enquiry"
>
> https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inquiry
>
> My point is that a less formal private enquiry (or inquiry, if you
> prefer) is not necessarily a cover-up and can be highly effective at a
> fraction of the cost.
>
>
>
>
>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you ring
>> the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory when
>> you hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
>
> You're speaking to a telephone operator.

No, you're speaking to a Fire Brigade control room staffed by people who
are supposed to take calls from the residents of the flat, pass on any
information to the firefighters on the site and give any advice they can
about what a resident ought to do.
GB
2018-07-12 21:20:40 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 22:10, The Todal wrote:

>>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you
>>> ring the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory
>>> when you hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
>>
>> You're speaking to a telephone operator.
>
> No, you're speaking to a Fire Brigade control room staffed by people who
> are supposed to take calls from the residents of the flat, pass on any
> information to the firefighters on the site and give any advice they can
> about what a resident ought to do.


For comparison, what advice does the ambulance control room give for
medical emergencies, and what training do they have?
Martin Brown
2018-07-16 13:24:31 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 22:10, The Todal wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 15:43, GB wrote:
>> On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
>>
>>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you
>>> ring the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory
>>> when you hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".

But that really is the truth. You have to learn to find your way out in
total darkness if you are to stand a fair chance of doing it without any
assistance under hostile conditions. Even people who have been trained
exactly what to do sometimes get disorientated in thick smoke.

Mine rescue smoke hoods are one of the few things that might have made a
real difference to evacuation if they had been available.

>> You're speaking to a telephone operator.
>
> No, you're speaking to a Fire Brigade control room staffed by people who
> are supposed to take calls from the residents of the flat, pass on any
> information to the firefighters on the site and give any advice they can
> about what a resident ought to do.

But they base that advice on how a high rise block of flats is
*supposed* to have been built with proper fire containment - the control
room didn't know that someone had covered the outside in firelighters.
(and if the latest reports are correct could not see the live TV images)

The rules for a chemical plant going up or major forest fire would have
been more appropriate for this horrible scenario - which are stay low
and basically run like hell away from the rapidly expanding fire front.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
Yellow
2018-07-16 13:38:09 UTC
Permalink
In article <pii6ah$1jge$***@gioia.aioe.org>,
'''newspam'''@nezumi.demon.co.uk says...
>
> On 12/07/2018 22:10, The Todal wrote:
> > On 12/07/2018 15:43, GB wrote:
> >> On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
> >>
> >>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you
> >>> ring the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory
> >>> when you hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
>
> But that really is the truth. You have to learn to find your way out in
> total darkness if you are to stand a fair chance of doing it without any
> assistance under hostile conditions. Even people who have been trained
> exactly what to do sometimes get disorientated in thick smoke.
>
> Mine rescue smoke hoods are one of the few things that might have made a
> real difference to evacuation if they had been available.
>
> >> You're speaking to a telephone operator.
> >
> > No, you're speaking to a Fire Brigade control room staffed by people who
> > are supposed to take calls from the residents of the flat, pass on any
> > information to the firefighters on the site and give any advice they can
> > about what a resident ought to do.
>
> But they base that advice on how a high rise block of flats is
> *supposed* to have been built with proper fire containment - the control
> room didn't know that someone had covered the outside in firelighters.
> (and if the latest reports are correct could not see the live TV images)
>
> The rules for a chemical plant going up or major forest fire would have
> been more appropriate for this horrible scenario - which are stay low
> and basically run like hell away from the rapidly expanding fire front.

Out of interest, are you (or were you) a fireman?
Martin Brown
2018-07-17 08:39:25 UTC
Permalink
On 16/07/2018 14:38, Yellow wrote:
> In article <pii6ah$1jge$***@gioia.aioe.org>,
> '''newspam'''@nezumi.demon.co.uk says...
>>
>> On 12/07/2018 22:10, The Todal wrote:
>>> On 12/07/2018 15:43, GB wrote:
>>>> On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you
>>>>> ring the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory
>>>>> when you hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
>>
>> But that really is the truth. You have to learn to find your way out in
>> total darkness if you are to stand a fair chance of doing it without any
>> assistance under hostile conditions. Even people who have been trained
>> exactly what to do sometimes get disorientated in thick smoke.
>>
>> Mine rescue smoke hoods are one of the few things that might have made a
>> real difference to evacuation if they had been available.
>>
>>>> You're speaking to a telephone operator.
>>>
>>> No, you're speaking to a Fire Brigade control room staffed by people who
>>> are supposed to take calls from the residents of the flat, pass on any
>>> information to the firefighters on the site and give any advice they can
>>> about what a resident ought to do.
>>
>> But they base that advice on how a high rise block of flats is
>> *supposed* to have been built with proper fire containment - the control
>> room didn't know that someone had covered the outside in firelighters.
>> (and if the latest reports are correct could not see the live TV images)
>>
>> The rules for a chemical plant going up or major forest fire would have
>> been more appropriate for this horrible scenario - which are stay low
>> and basically run like hell away from the rapidly expanding fire front.
>
> Out of interest, are you (or were you) a fireman?

No. I was trained in basic level fire fighting because of the places I
have worked up to and including fighting some potentially dangerous
chemical fires under very controlled conditions. I have only ever put my
training into practice on a relatively trivial lab scale solvent fire.


I know detailed backgrounds for a few major industrial fires (and where
to find the reports to check up and back up what I can remember).

I was also trained in photographic darkroom work so I know just how hard
it is to negotiate around in total darkness by touch alone. Some of the
industrial photography the place I worked in the school holidays did was
for forensic evidence in court (back then it meant lots of prints).

Firemen are taught a particular way to move around with their elbows
bent and arms across their chest so that if they happen to touch a
dangling live wire they do not involuntarily end up grabbing onto it.

I have a couple of good friends who *are* firemen. One was on the top of
York minster fighting the blaze that night. They do not lack bravery.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
GB
2018-07-17 10:13:29 UTC
Permalink
On 17/07/2018 09:39, Martin Brown wrote:

> Firemen are taught a particular way to move around with their elbows
> bent and arms across their chest so that if they happen to touch a
> dangling live wire they do not involuntarily end up grabbing onto it.

I don't get that. They wear thick gauntlets that will certainly insulate
against mains electricity, when dry. I don't know how the gauntlets are
constructed, but it cannot be hard to make them waterproof.
Martin Brown
2018-07-17 12:31:26 UTC
Permalink
On 17/07/2018 11:13, GB wrote:
> On 17/07/2018 09:39, Martin Brown wrote:
>
>> Firemen are taught a particular way to move around with their elbows
>> bent and arms across their chest so that if they happen to touch a
>> dangling live wire they do not involuntarily end up grabbing onto it.
>
> I don't get that. They wear thick gauntlets that will certainly insulate
> against mains electricity, when dry. I don't know how the gauntlets are
> constructed, but it cannot be hard to make them waterproof.

The point is that the average person goes into the pitch dark waving
their arms about with palms open and if you do touch a live wire like
that then the muscles spasm and you end up gripping it.

Fireman's gloves may not be dry for long when they are typically pumping
large amounts of water through hoses which invariably leak a bit.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
GB
2018-07-17 13:48:34 UTC
Permalink
On 17/07/2018 13:31, Martin Brown wrote:
> On 17/07/2018 11:13, GB wrote:
>> On 17/07/2018 09:39, Martin Brown wrote:
>>
>>> Firemen are taught a particular way to move around with their elbows
>>> bent and arms across their chest so that if they happen to touch a
>>> dangling live wire they do not involuntarily end up grabbing onto it.
>>
>> I don't get that. They wear thick gauntlets that will certainly
>> insulate against mains electricity, when dry. I don't know how the
>> gauntlets are constructed, but it cannot be hard to make them waterproof.
>
> The point is that the average person goes into the pitch dark waving
> their arms about with palms open and if you do touch a live wire like
> that then the muscles spasm and you end up gripping it.

Yes, I think I'd have made that mistake. I'll bear it in mind should the
need arise.

>
> Fireman's gloves may not be dry for long when they are typically pumping
> large amounts of water through hoses which invariably leak a bit.

As I said, it's a design criterion for firemen's gloves that they don't
get saturated, but perhaps that's easier said than done.

>
The Todal
2018-07-17 13:53:28 UTC
Permalink
On 17/07/2018 14:48, GB wrote:
> On 17/07/2018 13:31, Martin Brown wrote:
>> On 17/07/2018 11:13, GB wrote:
>>> On 17/07/2018 09:39, Martin Brown wrote:
>>>
>>>> Firemen are taught a particular way to move around with their elbows
>>>> bent and arms across their chest so that if they happen to touch a
>>>> dangling live wire they do not involuntarily end up grabbing onto it.
>>>
>>> I don't get that. They wear thick gauntlets that will certainly
>>> insulate against mains electricity, when dry. I don't know how the
>>> gauntlets are constructed, but it cannot be hard to make them
>>> waterproof.
>>
>> The point is that the average person goes into the pitch dark waving
>> their arms about with palms open and if you do touch a live wire like
>> that then the muscles spasm and you end up gripping it.
>
> Yes, I think I'd have made that mistake. I'll bear it in mind should the
> need arise.
>

I dealt with a case once - an electricity board power line came down in
someone's garden. The family didn't realise that the power line was live
with electricity. The teenage boy went over and picked up the line and
found he could not drop it. The father came over and panicked and didn't
know what to do so he merely phoned an ambulance but by the time it had
arrived, the boy had died. The expert evidence was that the father
should have tried kicking the cable out of his son's hand. There was no
way to shut off the power.
Martin Brown
2018-07-18 08:57:54 UTC
Permalink
On 17/07/2018 14:53, The Todal wrote:
> On 17/07/2018 14:48, GB wrote:
>> On 17/07/2018 13:31, Martin Brown wrote:

>>> The point is that the average person goes into the pitch dark waving
>>> their arms about with palms open and if you do touch a live wire like
>>> that then the muscles spasm and you end up gripping it.
>>
>> Yes, I think I'd have made that mistake. I'll bear it in mind should
>> the need arise.

It arises more often than you might think. A friend at university was
seriously injured by a Jesus lead ie a mains cable with a plug at each
end that he grabbed hold of leading to serious burns on his hand.

I have seen more than one DIYer put the wrong sex on the extension lead
for their lawn mower or hedge trimmer after cutting through it.

> I dealt with a case once - an electricity board power line came down in
> someone's garden. The family didn't realise that the power line was live
> with electricity. The teenage boy went over and picked up the line and
> found he could not drop it. The father came over and panicked and didn't
> know what to do so he merely phoned an ambulance but by the time it had
> arrived, the boy had died. The expert evidence was that the father
> should have tried kicking the cable out of his son's hand. There was no
> way to shut off the power.

I prefer knocking the conductor away from the casualty with a wooden
broom handle or anything else that is non conducting. I'd have thought
that would have been the advice from a 999 operator too.

If it is an HT cable then you need to be really careful when approaching
as even if the cable is dead there is a chance that the circuit breakers
may automatically try to make it live again at any moment.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
GB
2018-07-18 10:39:24 UTC
Permalink
On 18/07/2018 09:57, Martin Brown wrote:

> I prefer knocking the conductor away from the casualty with a wooden
> broom handle or anything else that is non conducting. I'd have thought
> that would have been the advice from a 999 operator too.

I suspect it's a lot easier said than done. I understand that the 50Hz
causes the muscles to contract quite hard, so it may not be possible to
remove the conductor until the electricity is turned off.

If it's a dry day and you are wearing shoes, I'm quite surprised you'd
get much of a jolt at all unless it's HT.

>
> If it is an HT cable then you need to be really careful when approaching
> as even if the cable is dead there is a chance that the circuit breakers
> may automatically try to make it live again at any moment.
>

I learnt (at school, so horribly out of date) that the cable
automatically goes live again after a couple of seconds. If the breakers
are triggered a second time, it's supposed to stay off. One question is
whether the breakers will trip at all.
Martin Brown
2018-07-18 20:26:18 UTC
Permalink
On 18/07/2018 11:39, GB wrote:
> On 18/07/2018 09:57, Martin Brown wrote:
>
>> I prefer knocking the conductor away from the casualty with a wooden
>> broom handle or anything else that is non conducting. I'd have thought
>> that would have been the advice from a 999 operator too.
>
> I suspect it's a lot easier said than done. I understand that the 50Hz
> causes the muscles to contract quite hard, so it may not be possible to
> remove the conductor until the electricity is turned off.

It can be done. Though switching power off is better if you can. The
golden rule for would be rescuers is don't become a casualty yourself.

If you are doing it to save someone's life you don't mess about.

> If it's a dry day and you are wearing shoes, I'm quite surprised you'd
> get much of a jolt at all unless it's HT.

Oh you do. I have had more than one nip from mains. It depends a lot on
your skin resistance and some are more susceptible than others.

I am mid range in that I get a fairly unpleasant nip off 240v. I have
seen people thrown across the room and stunned by it and/or with serious
burns to the hand (one guy we knew was just very unlucky).

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
GB
2018-07-18 23:23:34 UTC
Permalink
On 18/07/2018 21:26, Martin Brown wrote:
>
>> If it's a dry day and you are wearing shoes, I'm quite surprised you'd
>> get much of a jolt at all unless it's HT.
>
> Oh you do. I have had more than one nip from mains. It depends a lot on
> your skin resistance and some are more susceptible than others.
>
> I am mid range in that I get a fairly unpleasant nip off 240v. I have
> seen people thrown across the room and stunned by it and/or with serious
> burns to the hand (one guy we knew was just very unlucky).
>

It depends what route the electricity takes. If the people you have seen
touched a live cable with one hand, whilst say holding onto the kitchen
sink with the other, they'd get a nasty shock.

I was envisaging picking up the live cable with one hand, and the only
route to earth is through your feet, which are insulated with
rubber-soled trainers and standing on dry grass. That would give a very
high resistance path to earth.
Martin Brown
2018-07-12 14:03:50 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 10:53, The Todal wrote:
> On 12/07/2018 08:31, Martin Brown wrote:
>> On 11/07/2018 10:43, The Todal wrote:
>>> New evidence today from Jo Smith, senior operations manager on the
>>> day of the Grenfell fire.
>>>
>>> At 02.30 she made the decision to abandon the "stay put" policy and
>>> to urge residents to abandon the building.
>>>
>>> Why not earlier?
>>>
>>> "At approximately 01:15hrs I received a 'page' regarding an eight
>>> pump fire. Normal procedure is that anything that is eight pump or
>>> more requires senior operations managers to be notified."
>>>
>>> She tells her colleagues that she will be at the control room in 30
>>> minutes. She gets to the control room at 02:15 and makes the decision
>>> to abandon "stay put" within 10 to 15 minutes after that.
>>
>> In essence the problem that the fire brigade had was that they thought
>> they were dealing with a properly designed building with a domestic
>> interior kitchen fire. They were actually facing an incendiary bomb
>> made of highly flammable cladding that had been ignited by a domestic
>> fire.
>
> And maybe Fire Brigade policies and procedures only suit slow-burning
> fires.

Domestic fires *should* be relatively slow burning unless someone has
been storing petrol or LPG in the house or running an illegal still.
>
> Like having an army and navy which doesn't understand tanks and can only
> deal with enemy troops mounted on horses, perhaps.

More like allowing the enemy to label a tank as cavalry. The Grenfell
building after refurbishment was every bit as hazardous to life and limb
as a chemical plant except that people were allowed to sleep in it.
>
> However, the Inquiry is spending a lot of its time trying to establish
> why certain policies and procedures issued by the Fire Brigade before
> Grenfell were seemingly not taught to the officers or implemented.

I think against the situation they found themselves the procedures could
never have coped. It is a basic tenet of high rise buildings that they
should be intrinsically safe *BY DESIGN*. But this one wasn't.

I suspect the difference between theory and practice. Most people when
they first use a fire extinguisher invariably aim far too high and have
no effect and in the case of CO2 are shocked by the sheer noise of it.

You could be perfect at passing the theory exams but utterly useless at
putting out fires - you have to have a balance. Head for heights and
ability to improvise when things are going pear shaped is ciritical. One
of my neighbours was involved in putting out the York Minster fire.

>> It was not unlike the huge BASF PE warehouse fire on Teesside although
>> smaller in scale the combustible plastic material was the same.
>>
>> The thing to do for the future until this terrible material is removed
>> is to flag all the buildings with it on as "Chemical plants" which
>> ISTR gives 6 tenders immediately and a next level commander by default.
>>
>>> Looks as if it needed a speedier decision-making process in view of
>>> the unusually quick spread of the fire.
>>>
>>> https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/file/964/download?token=tyVX8yb5
>>
>> The building should never have been permitted to exist in this state.
>>
>> The people that did that to the building have to go to jail. There is
>> no other practical solution to this - it is an engineering cockup on
>> the same scale as having a motorway bridge fall down because cowboy
>> builders used the wrong sort of concrete in its construction/renovation.
>
> Sending people to gaol never solves anything.

It does where negligence and ignoring the rules is involved.
(it is going to be hard to prove though)

> You don't prevent another
> Hillsborough by prosecuting Officer Duckenfield and sending him to
> prison. What prevents another Hillsborough is the careful analysis of
> how the overcrowding occurred and the rules and standards that have been
> introduced since the disaster.

Agreed. But he just a genuine mistake when he was overwhelmed with the
sheer complexity of a live situation. Someone made the conscious
decision to plate the outside of Grenfell House with firelighters.
>> Complaining about how ineffective the firefighters were against an
>> impossible and unwinnable real life situation is utterly futile.
>
> Pointing out that the fire service was overwhelmed, at times
> disorganised, with radios that didn't work and insufficient capacity in
> their breathing apparatus, and that more people could have been saved if
> things had been better organised, is certainly not futile.

I agree. But given that the fire service have said they don't practice
for mass evacuation nor are the residents of "stay put" buildings
regularly trained in how to evacuate in the event of a fire. Do they
ever practice this in high rise housing? Our lab used to do a full
practice every six months and the main fire doors were heavy enough to
cause casualties if someone wasn't paying attention when they closed.

> We know of course that the building could not have been saved from
> destruction. That's a given. The issue here is whether more lives could
> have been saved.

Probably but the optimal evacuation strategy would also be controversial
and would have been almost impossible to think up on the spot.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
Tim Woodall
2018-07-12 14:42:08 UTC
Permalink
On 2018-07-12, Martin Brown <'''newspam'''@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> It does where negligence and ignoring the rules is involved.
> (it is going to be hard to prove though)
>
It's attitudes like this that will prevent the inquiry getting to the
root cause.

You have decided that someone is culpable - so culpable, in fact, that
they should be gaoled.

But the odds are that many, many people made small mistakes that lead to
the terrible loss of life.

All your attitude does is gets people on the defensive.


I've twice come up against building regs that IMO, seem almost designed
to ensure things aren't done properly.

The first being requiring about half of an external (solid) wall to be
replastered - that triggered the need to install wall insulation. Now I
didn't scrimp and save, but a c1000 job became c10000. Is it any wonder
that there is a demand for 'the cheapest possible solution that meets
building regs'

The second time was replacing an old style fuse box. My electrician
said, if I left it, he could give me the certificate, because the wiring
complied with the old regs. But replacing it required the earth bonding
to be upgraded from 6mm to 10mm (which has lead to unsightly trunking)

Now I want RCDs. And no doubt 10mm earthing is safer than 6mm earthing.
But is it really sensible to force people to 'upgrade' when the new
system is safer than the old even without the upgrade.
Yellow
2018-07-12 17:11:04 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@einstein.home.woodall.me.uk>, news001
@woodall.me.uk says...
>
> On 2018-07-12, Martin Brown <'''newspam'''@nezumi.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> >
> > It does where negligence and ignoring the rules is involved.
> > (it is going to be hard to prove though)
> >
> It's attitudes like this that will prevent the inquiry getting to the
> root cause.
>
> You have decided that someone is culpable - so culpable, in fact, that
> they should be gaoled.
>
> But the odds are that many, many people made small mistakes that lead to
> the terrible loss of life.
>
> All your attitude does is gets people on the defensive.

I agree. What we need is people to be 100% open and honest and not to
prejudge or force people into a corner so they do not tell the whole
truth.



> I've twice come up against building regs that IMO, seem almost designed
> to ensure things aren't done properly.
>
> The first being requiring about half of an external (solid) wall to be
> replastered - that triggered the need to install wall insulation. Now I
> didn't scrimp and save, but a c1000 job became c10000. Is it any wonder
> that there is a demand for 'the cheapest possible solution that meets
> building regs'
>
> The second time was replacing an old style fuse box. My electrician
> said, if I left it, he could give me the certificate, because the wiring
> complied with the old regs. But replacing it required the earth bonding
> to be upgraded from 6mm to 10mm (which has lead to unsightly trunking)
>
> Now I want RCDs. And no doubt 10mm earthing is safer than 6mm earthing.
> But is it really sensible to force people to 'upgrade' when the new
> system is safer than the old even without the upgrade.

When doing up a flat we wanted to replace some storage heaters we were
told by our contractor's electrician that we would need to fit a second
fuse box as it was no longer 'legal' to have economy 7 and non-economy 7
wires from the electricity meter to a single fuse box.

He said this would cost at least £600.

The storage heaters themselves were just screwed to the wall and wired
into a wall socket and replacing them would be a simple DIY job if you
were so disposed.

In the event the conversation was a good thing as it lead us to doing
away with the E7 circuit and fitting modern electric radiators (and a
very good decision that has turned out to be!) but it still passes
through my mind occasionally if we *really* needed to change the wiring
given were were just planning to replace like with like.
Phi
2018-07-12 17:38:25 UTC
Permalink
"GB" <***@microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:pi7pfa$jhg$***@dont-email.me...
> On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
>
>> The witnesses mainly seem to be remarkably stoical and when offered the
>> opportunity to take a break, often say there is no need.
>
> I certainly have not watched hours of testimony, and I'm delighted to hear
> that the witnesses are bearing up under the strain.
>
> Are you watching it purely out of personal interest or on behalf of some
> other body? If the latter, I'm sure you're an excellent choice!
>
>
>
>>
>>
>>
>>>
>>> No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.
>>
>> And to be an enquiry (or rather, Inquiry). Yes, that's clearly true.
>
> "inquiry NOUN another term for enquiry"
>
> https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inquiry
>
> My point is that a less formal private enquiry (or inquiry, if you prefer)
> is not necessarily a cover-up and can be highly effective at a fraction of
> the cost.
>
>
>
>
>> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you ring
>> the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory when you
>> hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
>
> You're speaking to a telephone operator.


I want to see Kensington council questioned about choosing a cheaper
cladding for the re-furbishment.
GB
2018-07-12 17:12:00 UTC
Permalink
On 12/07/2018 18:38, Phi wrote:
>
> I want to see Kensington council questioned about choosing a cheaper
> cladding for the re-furbishment.

You'll get your chance, but I can predict what will be said:
1. We were told this was a perfectly safe option. It's been used in
hundreds of other locations, and our experts recommended it.
2. It's our job to save money where we can and not to gold plate the
specification. So, of course, we looked for the most cost-effective
solution that met all the criteria, including safety, which our experts
said was the case.

Then the experts will be questioned, and what do you think they'll say?

And, of course, it will all be picked up by insurers, who will load
premiums to pay for it, and be under no misapprehension that you Phi
will, in the end, be paying for the compensation. Obviously, not all of
it, just your share.
Yellow
2018-07-12 17:13:50 UTC
Permalink
In article <pi806p$vus$***@dont-email.me>, ***@inbox.com says...
>
> "GB" <***@microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:pi7pfa$jhg$***@dont-email.me...
> > On 12/07/2018 14:51, The Todal wrote:
> >
> >> The witnesses mainly seem to be remarkably stoical and when offered the
> >> opportunity to take a break, often say there is no need.
> >
> > I certainly have not watched hours of testimony, and I'm delighted to hear
> > that the witnesses are bearing up under the strain.
> >
> > Are you watching it purely out of personal interest or on behalf of some
> > other body? If the latter, I'm sure you're an excellent choice!
> >
> >
> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>>
> >>> No, the purpose of the public enquiry is to be public.
> >>
> >> And to be an enquiry (or rather, Inquiry). Yes, that's clearly true.
> >
> > "inquiry NOUN another term for enquiry"
> >
> > https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inquiry
> >
> > My point is that a less formal private enquiry (or inquiry, if you prefer)
> > is not necessarily a cover-up and can be highly effective at a fraction of
> > the cost.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >> If you're trapped by smoke in your flat on the 20th floor and you ring
> >> the Fire Brigade for help and advice, it's not very satisfactory when you
> >> hear "Well, I obviously can't really advise you".
> >
> > You're speaking to a telephone operator.
>
>
> I want to see Kensington council questioned about choosing a cheaper
> cladding for the re-furbishment.

I would imagine the issue of how that particular cladding ended up on
the side of that particular building is going to be examined at great
length and everyone who has had a part in it needs to be questioned, not
just the people you have already decided are responsible.
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