London's burning

I think they have missed the thrust of the report - the fact that they didn’t have a contingency plan of how to evacuate - or even consider the possibility of having to do it at any stage, either beforehand or on the night, are failings themselves.

turning round in hindsight and saying ‘ah, it wouldn't have been safe’ is irrelevant - NOT doing it was even more unsafe, and not even thinking about it was negligent.
I don’t think that the FBU did miss the thrust of the report. I think that having scrutinised the evidence in detail and having represented and supported the vast majority of those who attended the fire, they probably have more insight than most. I thought that their mentioning of the fact that the inquiry failed to seek the advice of its own expert on firefighting matters particularly telling.
Short of displaying 20/20 hindsight I’ve yet to hear anyone detail realistically how a full evacuation could have been achieved within the timeframe of events.
Do procedures need looking at in light of the findings? Certainly, given that we now know that decades of deregulation and vested interests have made what should have been safe structures worryingly vulnerable.
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
Yes, we said at the time that Blair/Brown/Prescott had put a low cost on people's lives as an entry in policy cost/benefit analysis. It was not so much deregulation but self regulation without oversight.
As a slight thread drift, google "statistical value of preventing a fatality". It's a term used by insurance companies and councils to work out the cost benefit analysis of doing work where lives would be saved. Basically they take that figure, multiply it by the number of lives they would save per time period, and if the works cost more than that they argue it is not worth it.

Basically when it comes down to it, that figure is the monetary value of a human life.
 
As a slight thread drift, google "statistical value of preventing a fatality". It's a term used by insurance companies and councils to work out the cost benefit analysis of doing work where lives would be saved. Basically they take that figure, multiply it by the number of lives they would save per time period, and if the works cost more than that they argue it is not worth it.

Basically when it comes down to it, that figure is the monetary value of a human life.
Also used in the aviation industry.
 
Short of displaying 20/20 hindsight I’ve yet to hear anyone detail realistically how a full evacuation could have been achieved within the timeframe of events.
you're asking the wrong question.

the question is whether upon realising that the fire was out of control, the plan should have shifted away from shelter in place into 'get as many out as we can'

Screenshot 2019-11-05 at 21.12.48.png
 

TamH70

MIA
Also used in the aviation industry.
And especially in the car industry.

There's a good discussion of it in Fincher's film, "Fight Club".
 
Short of displaying 20/20 hindsight I’ve yet to hear anyone detail realistically how a full evacuation could have been achieved within the timeframe of events.
By commencing the evacuation as soon as possible after the initial fire was reported. Eggs has told us that prior to having hindsight, firefighters expected to have 2.5 hours before fire would spread so that's plenty of time*.

Building designers that I've dealt with in the past have prioritised evacuation. If evacuation isn't possible, then you return to your flat, put damp towels at the bottom of the door and rely on compartmentation because, realistically, you have no other choice.

Clearly, the Fire Services and building designers need to get together to ensure that emergency procedures match the actual design intent, not what somebody thinks is the case. An example is the stairwell - it seems that firefighters would have us believe that it's to provide access for them and shouldn't be obstructed by fleeing residents. That doesn't quite mesh with the signage on and above the doors that says it's a fire exit.

*Sarcasm. The fire resistance of the compartment is limited by its weakest link. A fire damper typically has about an hour of resistance and that's in the unlikely event that it's been installed correctly.
 
Well, the politically appointed inquiry's report has obviously had the intended effect. Even reasonable people without specialist knowledge will be inclined to take it at face value and apportion blame accordingly.

Anyone who's interested in what an inquiry that wasn't back-to-front might have found could do worse than look into the prosecution over Lakanal House where the council were prosecuted by... the LFB.
 
Jesus. Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast asking whether JRM and Andrew Bridgen should resign for for remarks made about Grenfell. Then whether JRM is “toxic” for the Tory GE campaign... then whether a humorously edited video featured on a Tory website about Keir Starmer not answering Brexit questions is “fake news”, then this then that.
Even Piers Moron was preferable to her partisan shite.
 
On the other hand, the 'Today' programme featured La Abbott who, in her haste to condemn JRM, backed the LFB's 'Stay Put' policy.
Apparently, he called people stupid because they didn't leg it.
'What did he expect them to do in a building with only one staircase and firefighters trying to get up the building '.
She was also excellent ref Jack Straw's 5Is comment. But that's OT and belongs elsewhere.
 

Chalkster69

Clanker
Well, the politically appointed inquiry's report has obviously had the intended effect. Even reasonable people without specialist knowledge will be inclined to take it at face value and apportion blame accordingly.
I don't know - a lot of the social media comments around seem to be of the "Support Our Firefighters" with a strong conviction that heads had better roll when it comes to the next stage of investigation!!

"Common" people on the ground seem to have a lot more comprehension of what a shit storm the LFB were thrown into on that night, most of the commentators on the news channels are just playing "edgy" for ratings....
 

Mrsheeny

Old-Salt
JRM was absolutely spot on, if you are in a tower block and there is a fire in it, common sense tells you to ignore the fire brigades advice and get the hell out of there.

The elephant in the room is the bloke whose flat caught fire and never raised the alarm. It should be him hauled over the coals not LFB.
 
Clearly, the Fire Services and building designers need to get together to ensure that emergency procedures match the actual design intent, not what somebody thinks is the case. An example is the stairwell - it seems that firefighters would have us believe that it's to provide access for them and shouldn't be obstructed by fleeing residents. That doesn't quite mesh with the signage on and above the doors that says it's a fire exit.
I don’t think anyone has realistically suggested that stairwells exist to exclusively provide access for fire crews, of course they’re primarily a means of escape. In the first instance crews would try to utilise the lifts if they were viable. No-one wants to tote large of amounts of gear up multiple floors in the confines of a stairwell.
 
I don’t think anyone has realistically suggested that stairwells exist to exclusively provide access for fire crews, of course they’re primarily a means of escape. In the first instance crews would try to utilise the lifts if they were viable. No-one wants to tote large of amounts of gear up multiple floors in the confines of a stairwell.
American, but the kit's similar and it illustrates the point.

1573030654864.png


The last pic is highrise equipment.
 
In the interest of balance, I think that the following (Extract from another FBU publication) is worth posting since it seems the inquiry has sought to apportion culpability before the full facts surrounding the circumstances have been dealt with:

THE BEGINNING OF DEREGULATION
These broad, progressive developments in fire safety regulation, which the FBU had campaigned for and supported, came under attack at the end of the 1970s. The Home Office Review and Fire Policy (1980) and the subsequent Green Paper, Future Fire Policy (1980) began a process of undermining fire safety regulation, reducing fire cover in terms of attendance standards and cutting funding to the fire and rescue service that has continued ever since. The change of direction towards cuts, even
if this meant more deaths, injuries and property damage, was politely dressed up in the following paragraph:
1074: there may be over provision which may enable judicious reductions to be made which would not result in an unacceptable increase in property loss or casualties.

During the 1980s and 1990s attempts to deregulate fire safety included the review of fire cover, discussions on scrapping the Fire Precautions Act, the part-privatisation of local authority building control, the Audit Commission paper, Value for Money in the Fire Service (1986) and the Audit Commission report, In the Line of Fire (1995). The FBU supported staff responsible for local authority building inspection and approval, including their campaign “This Bill Will Kill”. Trade unionists pointed out that the contracting out could lead to a disaster, like the one at the Summerland resort in 1974.

In January 1994, Michael Heseltine, minister for trade and industry announced
a government review to find ways of ‘simplifying’ fire safety legislation and its enforcement. The department also issued publications such as Deregulation – Cutting Red Tape and Deregulation Task Forces Proposals for Reform. The latter included proposals to repeal local acts of parliament insofar as they affected the design of buildings, a bar against future such legislation and the repeal of the Fire Precautions Act. The FBU opposed these deregulatory proposals, calling them a “consultant’s charter”. The union also argued that homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) should be designated under the Fire Precautions Act, with owners obliged to consult with fire authorities on fire safety matters.5
These deregulatory efforts continued under the Blair and Brown administrations, notably with the Bain review (2002), the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, (which abolished national standards of fire cover and the CFBAC), and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which removed the fire certification process and enabled a weaker regime of enforcement by fire authorities. The same process
saw the abolition of the fire service inspectorate and the national recruitment and promotion standards. The result has been an increasingly fragmented fire and rescue service applying different standards and response models to identical or similar risks. Since 2010, further moves by successive governments to cut “red tape”, water down the National Framework and implement savage cuts of over 30% to central funding of fire and rescue services have further undermined local and national resilience.
This is the context within which central government has failed to improve fire safety, where inquiries, inquests and investigations have been ignored, where government- funded fire research has virtually ceased and as a result, lessons learned decades ago have been forgotten and tragedies have occurred with devastating effect.
 
American, but the kit's similar and it illustrates the point.



The last pic is highrise equipment.
As noted earlier it isn't just the weight it's the bulk; the interference with body mechanics and balance; and the compromise in your ability to cool through sweating..

The harder you work the faster you drain the air bottle, the more you reduce the depth you can go into the incident area..
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
JRM was absolutely spot on, if you are in a tower block and there is a fire in it, common sense tells you to ignore the fire brigades advice and get the hell out of there.

The elephant in the room is the bloke whose flat caught fire and never raised the alarm. It should be him hauled over the coals not LFB.
While I agree with the first part in principle, the problem comes after a few alarms or false alarms. We had a smoke sensor in the building that used to go off every month or so around four in the afternoon on a sunny day. The building would be evacuated, the local brigade would pitch up, I would meet them by the fire panel and together take a walk around the building to make sure it wasn't actually on fire. Nothing to report, disable that sensor, reset the rest of the panel, stand down the two engines that came and let everyone back in to the building in time to get their coats and go home.

Every time the contractors would come out and change something, enable that sensor and everything would be happy for another month or so. On the third time of it going off however when the fire officer and I went into the building to check the area there were half a dozen people still at their desks. They "knew" it was probably a false alarm, it was the end of month with a lot to do so elected not to play.

And there is the point. If the guy in flat 16 used to burn the toast regularly, those on the upper floors or those who had difficulty walking would soon get tired of walking down stairs to stand in the car park every time there was a false alarm. Come the real fire they would roll over and ignore it.

As an aside, when we came across the workers still at their desks the fire officer looked at me and said "let me sort it". He went round each one, asked their name and wrote it in his notebook then went to walk out the door. When someone asked what was going to happen he said "nothing this time, I've just taken your names so that when it happens for real the coroner will know who's charred remains are at which desk" He then took a couple more steps, turned back and added "but the next time I catch you I will have you fined for potentially putting my men at risk having to save you when you should be outside".
 
….The elephant in the room is the bloke whose flat caught fire and never raised the alarm. It should be him hauled over the coals not LFB.
The same bloke who phoned 999 straight away, woke up his neighbours, then had the presence of mind to switch off the electricity in the flat before he left?
 
JRM was absolutely spot on, if you are in a tower block and there is a fire in it, common sense tells you to ignore the fire brigades advice and get the hell out of there.

The elephant in the room is the bloke whose flat caught fire and never raised the alarm. It should be him hauled over the coals not LFB.
I wonder how many of those "offended" needed an interpreter .
 
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