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Discussion > Grenfell Tower - Deadly Fires: Mismanagement, or just no managers present

The Grenfell coffin dancing continues

Courtesy of John McDonald at Glastonbury

Pretty odious stuff

Jun 26, 2017 at 1:25 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Some of the tower blocks have been evacuated because there were so many other problems in addition to the cladding. Here is an example:
"A LONDON tower block evacuated over a string of fire safety failures is missing at least 1,000 fire doors, the Government has warned amid fears the safety of high-rise buildings extend far beyond flammable cladding."
Express: Cladding ‘not full story’ - Warning as 1,000 fire doors found 'missing' at London tower

It does give one pause for thought: what else is there to find? And what other areas are there holes in what we are led to believe?

Jun 26, 2017 at 9:54 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

tomo & Robert Christopher

Someone had to substitute ordinary doors for Fire Doors, to save money or increase profit. The materials cost saving would have been £50-£100ish per door. Multiplied by a thousand, that is a lot of money, and it must be recorded somewhere.

Jun 26, 2017 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@golf charlie, Jun 26, 2017 at 10:50 PM

Someone had to substitute ordinary doors for Fire Doors, to save money or increase profit. The materials cost saving would have been £50-£100ish per door. Multiplied by a thousand, that is a lot of money, and it must be recorded somewhere.

Rubbish. Building Control would have inspected and signed off.

imho more likely occupants sold/removed them and replaced with bling upvc doors.

Stop the blame contractors/profit. You sound like BBC where even Brillo repeats ad-nauseum "cladding" "alluminium cladding" with no mention that it was the Green mandated insulation behind the "alluminium cladding" that spread the fire and heated the alluminium to combustion point.

Jun 26, 2017 at 11:38 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

'Missing fire doors'

Have the doors been replaced by non-fire-doors, or have they just gone. Or were they never there in the first place.

I would expect the entrance of each flat to have a door, hopefully a fire door, so they could be inspected to determine the explanation. The absence doors along the corridors and at the stairwell entrances could be disappearance or replacement.

Very poor reporting.

Jun 27, 2017 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

Could the removal of the internal fire doors helped the fire to spread so quickly?

Jun 27, 2017 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Jun 27, 2017 at 1:15 PM by Steve Richards

Fire doors located along (long) corridors would reduce drafts, which would slow the spread of the fires, and of course the fire itself when it arrived.

Where there were no fire doors, they would not have been able to hinder the spread of the fire. :)

The reports I have seen say that there were fire doors missing. If those that were removed were located in a very ineffective place, little harm would have been done! :) We cannot assume anything!

It needs a 'dependable expert' to do a proper survey to determine the credibility of the original set up and any alterations.

Jun 27, 2017 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Jun 26, 2017 at 11:38 PM | Pcar

Has it occurred to you that Councils/Housing Association may have saved themselves £100 ish per door? In light of the link provide here:
Jun 26, 2017 at 1:25 PM | tomo
who committed murder? I am no fan of the Green Blob, and the BBC are increasingly disappointing, but cladding these 1960-70s tower blocks to improve conditions for residents remains a "good idea", unfortunately the materials, design and methodology has been disastrous.

Robert Christopher & Steve Richards please reread comments above, but doors that SHOULD have been Fire Doors, were NOT Fire Doors. I/we do not know whether it was negligence/cost-cutting in design or project management. The Local Authority's own Building Control Department must have signed off the job on completion.

The "missing" Fire Doors" MAY mean that inadequate doors were used, not that no door existed at all. A Fire Door should prevent fire moving from one side, to the other. Fire Doors should also prevent smoke and fumes moving, but also more air with fresh supplies of oxygen. In the US, they talk about backdraft.

A 1 Hour Fire Resistant Door is only designed to last for 1 Hour. The advice to stay in the flat, and wait for Fire Fighters, would have been made on the assumption that a Fire in a communal area would be put out before penetrating the DOOR to a flat. Fire penetrated these flats, from the outside through the WINDOW openings.

What was the Fire Resistance of the windows- glass and frames?

I certainly agree that there has been some very bad reporting since the Grenfell Tower Fire, yet there have been no reports about the design and construction of this refurbishment, or the others now being investigated.

Jun 27, 2017 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The corruption of thought that out gave green demands a serious place at the grown up table left fallow ground for over looking things like fire resistance, fire safety codes and the like. Selling/trading off the fire doors for some quiet little bit of payola was barely a bump in the road....

Jun 28, 2017 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Jun 27, 2017 at 11:42 PM by golf charlie
"I certainly agree that there has been some very bad reporting since the Grenfell Tower Fire, yet there have been no reports about the design and construction of this refurbishment, or the others now being investigated."

An absence of a report about a problem does not mean the absence of a problem, especially when many of the reports that have appeared are not that good.

I have seen reports of fire doors missing, which is ambiguous:
"More than 1,000 fire doors have been found to be missing from a number of tower blocks, which were evacuated over ‘safety fears’ following the Grenfell Tower fire."

Jun 28, 2017 at 1:07 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

hunter & Robert Christopher

The Fire Doors were PROBABLY substituted for doors of inferior and cheaper quality BEFORE the refurbishment was complete.

This MAY have been instigated by cost cutting by the CLIENT or CONTRACTOR. Either way, IF the Building Control Department and/or Fire Officers signed the work as being satisfactory and the building fit for multiple occupation, where does fault lie?

We MAY not know whether occupants of the flats were dead BEFORE their front doors failed. The fire DID NOT spread up through the inside of the building. No external Fire Doors were fitted above Ground Level because there was no external Fire Escape Staircase..

The "1,000 Fire Doors missing" story may be a scandal in relation to other buildings, but is PROBABLY irrelevant with regard to Grenfell Tower.

Jun 28, 2017 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Sorry to disagree golfCharlie but photographs on the Tallblokes site clearly show interiors of flats alight before the exterior cladding burns - demonstrating that fires spread internally.

Jun 28, 2017 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Sorry to disagree golfCharlie but photographs on the Tallblokes site clearly show interiors of flats alight before the exterior cladding burns - demonstrating that fires spread internally.

Jun 28, 2017 at 4:10 PM | Supertroll

Once fire had spread into the building........

We do not know the quality of the internal doors. We do not know how many people attempted to flee leaving doors open behind them.

People talk of the chimney effect within the cladding. A Tower Block IS a chimney once there are vents at high level and low level with a fire inbetween. Forget chimney effect, think Dresden Firestorm effect.

Remember it was a warm night. Many flats would have had windows open, whether or not they were occupied. Any deficiency in door quality or installation would have allowed the passage of smoke and air.

I do not know what the Fire Resistance of the Fire Doors SHOULD HAVE been (One Hour? Two Hours?) but as the Fire Rescue Services did not get in, or upto the upper floors, it became sadly academic.

Once fire had got INTO the building

Jun 28, 2017 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I'm not into unnecessary speculation but people recommend this article by Fire Inspector Nick Ross

Jun 29, 2017 at 3:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It was a hot night, how many doors (of any kind) were jammed open to help produce a cooling through draught?

A scary thought.

Jun 29, 2017 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Jun 29, 2017 at 3:34 PM | Steve Richards

That is a question that forensics may be able to answer. If damage to walls, floors and ceilings is the same, either side of where a door was, it is likely the door was open, and this is sometimes very obvious from a visual inspection.

Remember that the concrete structure of the building may have been damaged by intense heat, but would not have burned.

A 2 Hour Fire Resistant Door can not be expected to last more than 2 Hours. That is where Forensics can provide evidence.

Jun 29, 2017 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

dropping links for reference - a lot to take in...

Richard North has had a bout of OCD researching HERE


Raedwald has posted on the mess at Kensington & Chelsea Council I have not seen reference to the sacking of the CEO and the debacle in the handling of the incident anywhere else - that doesn't mean it wasn't reported - but it is surprising that Corbyn / McDonald / Milne have not had a significant pop at the council - maybe the incompetence on show (or not...) is a bit too close for comfort? I would guess from the clues at his blog over time that Raedwald is very conversant with construction / civil engineering and "The Municipals" in London.....

I hope the opportunity presents to remove incompetent "decorative popinjays" from across the public sector - it seems one thing that they are perhaps too successful at promoting.

Jun 29, 2017 at 10:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, interesting links to Raedweld and Richard North

All Councils have Emergency plans, as previously mentioned here:
Jun 18, 2017 at 2:46 PM | Steve Richards
Jun 18, 2017 at 9:42 PM | golf charlie

The Emergency Services and Voluntary Organisations rehearse regularly, AND put their accumulated knowledge and experience into practice. Councils just have meetings.

From the links you provide, it seems that other London Councils had to have a meeting to decide what they could do to help, and then they did something.

Too many Taxpayer funded salaries are paid to people who excel in Meetings, but lack any practical experience.

Thankfully, no UK Council has recent experience of dealing with disasters involving this number of deaths, but buildings across the country are available as Emergency Morgues etc, a legacy of the Cold War. The dead are unable to complain and protest.

They do have experience of this number of people becoming homeless, due to flooding etc. Sports and Leisure Centres etc were put into service in this instance. With flooding, most people manage to escape with, or subsequently retrieve, Bank Cards and other critical possessions. With Flooding, Councils rely on Home Owners (or their Tenants) having Insurance Companies and Policies to cover all costs involved with rehousing and provide the staff to deal with the problems.

Most (?) Councils have sold their Housing , and transferred their obligations as Landlords, to Housing Associations etc, such as KCTMO.

Jun 30, 2017 at 2:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Tomo. BBC Radio 4 had a report last night (around 10.15pm?) of a meeting where the leader of the K&C Council read out a written statement about Grenfell, only to stop and terminate the meeting when he was informed that journalists were present. Democracy in action over at Kensington and Chelsea?

Jun 30, 2017 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Say there was a design brief.

To kill 100 civilians in a slow and excruciating and terrifying manner. And make it appear as an accident of fate.

I am not sure any design team could have done a better job. Long term planning, everything perfectly in place. And then just wait for the trigger.

Experts here, experts there. Even journalism now has no value because all they do is hide behind experts. In sports journalists give assessments. All I saw in every report was "experts say".

It was so obvious. Glaringly obvious. Experts are not needed for the opinion. And with the years of inquests and public inquiries will have experts flowing into the aisles.

Also, my family has had dealings with Councils and everyone connected (lawyers, experts, courts etc. all taking their nice little cuts of the pie) and the result? Always less than the sum of their parts. And the interests those actually under discussion never considered.

How did a system by fate, come up with almost a perfect design to kill the maximum number of people?

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

"Documents show the zinc cladding originally proposed was replaced with an aluminium type, which was less fire resistant, saving nearly £300,000."

"The documents obtained by the BBC reveal contractors working for Kensington and Chelsea council were asked in 2014 to replace zinc cladding with a more economical aluminium version."

It is on the BBC, so it must be true. What other changes were made, for reasons of economy?

If it is true, the Contract Instructions originated with a decision by the Client, not the Contractor. Was the Variation in the Specification submitted for Approval by Building Control Inspectors and Fire Officers?

Jun 30, 2017 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golfCharlie. Shows you just how confusing matters are. Earlier this morning I read that both types of cladding are given the same fire resistance rating, yet have seen numerous statements to the effect that zinc cladding is more resistant. Who to believe. My neighbour confirms both propositions.

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:07 AM | Supertroll

I don't have a clue either. I do know that the terminology used by manufacturers is intended to fit with the requirements of Legislation.

Fire Resistant, Fire Proof, etc are not the same and have various classifications.

Product A and Product B both look the same, even though they are NOT the same. Subtle benefits of Product A may be ignored for the cheaper Product B.

Jun 30, 2017 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 30, 2017 at 11:07 AM | Supertroll

Numerous samples of the Cladding Material USED on Grenfell Tower have been "tested", and they "failed". I do not know what the test was, or what constituted a fail.

We do not know how the Cladding Material originally specified would have faired in a similar test.

Any proprietary Cladding Material needs to be installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions to perform in accordance with the designers intentions.

For example, if panels were secured by fixings screwed into plastic wallplugs, it would not take much heat for panels to fall off. Slate roofs need replacing not because the slates have deteriorated, but because the fixing nails have failed through rust (known as nail sickness)

Forensics will be able to confirm whether the Cladding Materials/Panels were installed as intended, and if a chimney effect was inevitable.

Jun 30, 2017 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

There was the fire and there was the handling of same ...

Did he walk or was he pushed ? - the BBC is letting him resign ....

Raedwald's assertion is that he was sacked... but how does one sack the top man at a council ?

Little coverage of the management board of KCTMO and its £160K + + CEO .....

@Jiminy Cricket

"Less than the sum of the parts"

You betcha ... Wiltshire (WWDC) had a council riddled with corruption to the tune of £3+ million stolen by the main perps and likely about the same in misappropriated salaries and benefits in kind. Did anybody get porridge ....?

It's past time middle and senior ranks of our public servants were subjected to the real rewards of incompetence as in no parachute / compo and walk out the door with what you've already got and count yourself lucky.... If it's malfeasance / misfeasance / fraud then expect jail and PoCA. Pigs might fly ....

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo