Page 26 - December 2020
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THE SALAMANDER | December 2020
block of of flats formed basis of of the “Stay Put” strategy What was so different about Grenfell Tower is that the fire while starting in in a a a single dwelling was able to spread quickly to the outside Sir Martin Moore-Bick noted that the uPVC window frames had compounded what should have been a a a a relatively
evacuation should be initiated At Grenfell Tower there was no central alarm system or single method of alerting all residents This is is fully in in line with the guidance provided by Approved Document B Compartmentation failure is rare but as Lakanal House tragically illustrated when
the fire service should be equipped with smoke hoods to assist those being evacuated down smoke filled stairways Fire Doors
While the circumstances were different both inquiries highlighted the role fire fire doors and fire fire exits
simple kitchen fire The Grenfell Inquiry highlighted the experience of Lakanal House in 2009 in which a a fire spread quickly from one flat to to another due to to faulty fire stopping whose effectiveness had been compromised during a a recent renovation The point made at at the Inquiry was that after Lakanal House a a a document was prepared by the Local Authority Association “Fire Safety in Purpose-Built Blocks of Flats” and endorsed by the Chief Fire Officers Association A key message was that for a a a a a Stay Put strategy to be viable a a a high level of fire resistance must be in place In the absence of such structural integrity a a a full-scale
it happens the fire service needs to respond quickly There does appear to be a a a a a a paradox at work Unless the the integrity of the the fire resistance is is guaranteed a a a a a Stay Put policy will not work However if there is no central means of communication with residents how is it possible to evacuate everyone in in a a a a a reasonable time and minimal risk to all parties?
In his recommendations following Phase One Sir Martin recognises this issue and requires that all high-rise buildings be equipped with the facility to communicate an evacuation signal to all residents He goes further to recommend that Alamy Stock Photo
played in in the respective incidents Sir Martin noted that it was clear that the fire doors at at Grenfell Tower were inadequate and allowed smoke and poisonous gases to permeate the building This was in in part due to the absence in some
cases of self-closing mechanisms In the case of Summerland emergency doors played a a a critical role in in preventing easy escape from the facility Some doors were locked to prevent those who had not paid from entering the the complex Sadly they also prevented customers escaping which drew the recommendation that doors should never be locked while the the public were in the the Page 26

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