Huge fire at Grenfell Tower block

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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by EagleBeagle » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:30 am

bernicarey wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:34 am
Well I've just had a bit of a speed read through of the 2012 FRA and at 32 pages it seems quite comprehensive.... yet there is one glaring omission in my book.
Page 10 states:
(Note that, although the purpose of this section is to place the fire risk in context, the above approach to fire risk assessment is subjective and
for guidance only. All hazards and deficiencies identified in this report should be addressed by implementing all recommendations contained in the following action plan. The fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly.)
That's my BOLD above.

Yet there is no 'Action Plan'.
Page 1 of the document states in bold:
The significant findings and action plan of this Fire Risk Assessment are inserted next with this document continuing on page 2.
But there is no 'Action Plan'; there's not even a management summary page of Significant Findings...just random comments in each heading.
Anything could be buried in here because as a management document, it is terribly written.
But I think we're sadly no stranger to such documents across the health and safety sector, Bernie. It's part and parcel that some people believe documentation is something measured in weight rather than content. Edit: In fact, I now remember several funny stories about that and pre-qualification questionnaires!

The fact that I missed that note and the lack of an action plan indicates your point. Along with the fact that almost everyone here has had to note that they'll have to take time to read it back: it's not a document which is readily accessible to the reader.

One point that made be shiver: a reference to the lifts being firefighter/evacuation standard lifts? I wonder how many residents actually knew they could possibly evacuate via the lift in the dire circumstances they were in rather than crawl down up to 23 flights of stairs? The TMO's "stay put" signage only referred to the stairs as a route.

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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by hammer1 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:10 pm

EagleBeagle wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:30 am
bernicarey wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:34 am
Well I've just had a bit of a speed read through of the 2012 FRA and at 32 pages it seems quite comprehensive.... yet there is one glaring omission in my book.
Page 10 states:
(Note that, although the purpose of this section is to place the fire risk in context, the above approach to fire risk assessment is subjective and
for guidance only. All hazards and deficiencies identified in this report should be addressed by implementing all recommendations contained in the following action plan. The fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly.)
That's my BOLD above.

Yet there is no 'Action Plan'.
Page 1 of the document states in bold:
The significant findings and action plan of this Fire Risk Assessment are inserted next with this document continuing on page 2.
But there is no 'Action Plan'; there's not even a management summary page of Significant Findings...just random comments in each heading.
Anything could be buried in here because as a management document, it is terribly written.
But I think we're sadly no stranger to such documents across the health and safety sector, Bernie. It's part and parcel that some people believe documentation is something measured in weight rather than content. Edit: In fact, I now remember several funny stories about that and pre-qualification questionnaires!

The fact that I missed that note and the lack of an action plan indicates your point. Along with the fact that almost everyone here has had to note that they'll have to take time to read it back: it's not a document which is readily accessible to the reader.

One point that made be shiver: a reference to the lifts being firefighter/evacuation standard lifts? I wonder how many residents actually knew they could possibly evacuate via the lift in the dire circumstances they were in rather than crawl down up to 23 flights of stairs? The TMO's "stay put" signage only referred to the stairs as a route.
They must of upgraded the lift shafts/lifts then? the lift needs to be fire protected/ separate dual power supply and to BS EN 81
http://www.highrisefire.co.uk/lifttactical.html

I would of thought if it was a fire fighting lift/evacuation lift the council would of completed individual PEEPS on vulnerable persons and communicated to F&RS?

Normally in these types of buildings there the old 'firemans' lift with override facility only?

Maybe the action plan was not communicated with the residents? as this would of listed the significant findings/timescales to address?
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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by EagleBeagle » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:20 pm

hammer1 wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:10 pm
EagleBeagle wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:30 am
bernicarey wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:34 am
Well I've just had a bit of a speed read through of the 2012 FRA and at 32 pages it seems quite comprehensive.... yet there is one glaring omission in my book.
Page 10 states:

That's my BOLD above.

Yet there is no 'Action Plan'.
Page 1 of the document states in bold:


But there is no 'Action Plan'; there's not even a management summary page of Significant Findings...just random comments in each heading.
Anything could be buried in here because as a management document, it is terribly written.
But I think we're sadly no stranger to such documents across the health and safety sector, Bernie. It's part and parcel that some people believe documentation is something measured in weight rather than content. Edit: In fact, I now remember several funny stories about that and pre-qualification questionnaires!

The fact that I missed that note and the lack of an action plan indicates your point. Along with the fact that almost everyone here has had to note that they'll have to take time to read it back: it's not a document which is readily accessible to the reader.

One point that made be shiver: a reference to the lifts being firefighter/evacuation standard lifts? I wonder how many residents actually knew they could possibly evacuate via the lift in the dire circumstances they were in rather than crawl down up to 23 flights of stairs? The TMO's "stay put" signage only referred to the stairs as a route.
They must of upgraded the lift shafts/lifts then? the lift needs to be fire protected/ separate dual power supply and to BS EN 81
http://www.highrisefire.co.uk/lifttactical.html

I would of thought if it was a fire fighting lift/evacuation lift the council would of completed individual PEEPS on vulnerable persons and communicated to F&RS?

Normally in these types of buildings there the old 'firemans' lift with override facility only?

Maybe the action plan was not communicated with the residents? as this would of listed the significant findings/timescales to address?
I saw the FRA referred to PEEPS as it found that the evacuation measures were adequate for disabled persons. Whether they were in place or not, we don't know.

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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by bernicarey » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:39 pm

They must of upgraded the lift shafts/lifts then? the lift needs to be fire protected/ separate dual power supply and to BS EN 81
http://www.highrisefire.co.uk/lifttactical.html
P14 states:
Both lifts are fire fighting/evacuation lifts with their own independent dedicated power supply and fire fighters control switches. The lift motor room is accessed from the protected staircase of the building having first passed through a security gate and two security doors.
Now whether that is an assumption, or evidence was seen, is a separate Question. Perhaps it was seen to be so in the motor room.
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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by Messy » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:23 pm

Other than the lack of an action plan, this is not a bad FRA

The layout is broadly PAS79, so don't blame the assessor for it's useless layout!!
I hate it with a vengeance as it is not logical and fails to layout the information in a user friendly, accessible (for members of the public) fashion. However, it does usually involve an action plan. Just because we haven't seen it, does not mean there isn't one. So lets be careful with alleging he (the assessor) has made an error.

OK, he is chancing it saying the fire brigade can't ask for it after all lets not forget Article 27 of the Fire Safety Order:

Powers of inspectors

27.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, an inspector may do anything necessary for the purpose of carrying out this Order and any regulations made under it into effect and in particular, so far as may be necessary for that purpose, shall have power to do at any reasonable time the following—

(a)to enter any premises which he has reason to believe it is necessary for him to enter for the purpose mentioned above and to inspect the whole or part of the premises and anything in them, where such entry and inspection may be effected without the use of force;
(b)to make such inquiry as may be necessary for any of the following purposes—
(i)to ascertain, as regards any premises, whether the provisions of this Order or any regulations made under it apply or have been complied with; and
(ii)to identify the responsible person in relation to the premises;
(c)to require the production of, or where the information is recorded in computerised form, the furnishing of extracts from, any records (including plans)—
(i)which are required to be kept by virtue of any provision of this Order or regulations made under it; or
(ii)which it is necessary for him to see for the purposes of an examination or inspection under this article,and to inspect and take copies of, or of any entry in, the records;
(d)to require any person having responsibilities in relation to any premises (whether or not the responsible person) to give him such facilities and assistance with respect to any matters or things to which the responsibilities of that person extend as are necessary for the purpose of enabling the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred on him by this article;


I really do not want to be critical of this report. I don't think its that bad and covers areas that I wouldn't necessarily point out.

The problems around Grenfell are complex and many. Competence is most definitely a part, but I would not question Mr Stokes's competence from this FRA as it would most probably been seen as suitable and sufficient if subject to a LFB audit.

Designers, CDM roles, testing organisations, architects, the landlords, builders and others may well have a more important role in what happened leading to this disaster compared with the guy who carried out the fire risk assessment.

The media (including the hapless Mail on Sunday) need to keep calm & slow down. There are several investigations in progress, so let's all take a chill pill. I for one am more interested in the truth than I am in scapegoating one person - but there again, I don't have to sell newspapers so what do I know?


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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by bernicarey » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:39 pm

Messy wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:23 pm
Other than the lack of an action plan, this is not a bad FRA

The layout is broadly PAS79, so don't blame the assessor for it's useless layout!!
I fully agree with Messy on this, there's lots of details in this fra, my final comment in my last post,
Anything could be buried in here because as a management document, it is terribly written.

is exactly that 'as a management document'.
Any report of any kind, whether an Audit, a report on a week away on business, or feedback on last weekend's Team Building, if intended for senior management needs a concise summary for them to understand.
That's one reason why so many marks are awarded for it on the NEBOSH Diploma Unit D.
I would not condone the press interpretation of this FRA as briefing to 'bury the report' though the statement about showing it to the Fire Service is completely in error, as ably highlighted by Messy.
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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by Messy » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:53 pm

Just had a re read:

I know this is a FRA and not an English exam, but I found some language odd.

When discussing the amount of flats with current gas certificates, it comes in at 99.9% which the assessor helpfully points out "which is nearly 100%"

Although the infamous maths failure Diane Abbott MP may have needed this assistance, I am sure not many others would find it useful

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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by EagleBeagle » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:03 am

Messy wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:23 pm
Other than the lack of an action plan, this is not a bad FRA

The layout is broadly PAS79, so don't blame the assessor for it's useless layout!!
I hate it with a vengeance as it is not logical and fails to layout the information in a user friendly, accessible (for members of the public) fashion. However, it does usually involve an action plan. Just because we haven't seen it, does not mean there isn't one. So lets be careful with alleging he (the assessor) has made an error.

OK, he is chancing it saying the fire brigade can't ask for it after all lets not forget Article 27 of the Fire Safety Order:

Powers of inspectors

27.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, an inspector may do anything necessary for the purpose of carrying out this Order and any regulations made under it into effect and in particular, so far as may be necessary for that purpose, shall have power to do at any reasonable time the following—

(a)to enter any premises which he has reason to believe it is necessary for him to enter for the purpose mentioned above and to inspect the whole or part of the premises and anything in them, where such entry and inspection may be effected without the use of force;
(b)to make such inquiry as may be necessary for any of the following purposes—
(i)to ascertain, as regards any premises, whether the provisions of this Order or any regulations made under it apply or have been complied with; and
(ii)to identify the responsible person in relation to the premises;
(c)to require the production of, or where the information is recorded in computerised form, the furnishing of extracts from, any records (including plans)—
(i)which are required to be kept by virtue of any provision of this Order or regulations made under it; or
(ii)which it is necessary for him to see for the purposes of an examination or inspection under this article,and to inspect and take copies of, or of any entry in, the records;
(d)to require any person having responsibilities in relation to any premises (whether or not the responsible person) to give him such facilities and assistance with respect to any matters or things to which the responsibilities of that person extend as are necessary for the purpose of enabling the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred on him by this article;


I really do not want to be critical of this report. I don't think its that bad and covers areas that I wouldn't necessarily point out.

The problems around Grenfell are complex and many. Competence is most definitely a part, but I would not question Mr Stokes's competence from this FRA as it would most probably been seen as suitable and sufficient if subject to a LFB audit.

Designers, CDM roles, testing organisations, architects, the landlords, builders and others may well have a more important role in what happened leading to this disaster compared with the guy who carried out the fire risk assessment.

The media (including the hapless Mail on Sunday) need to keep calm & slow down. There are several investigations in progress, so let's all take a chill pill. I for one am more interested in the truth than I am in scapegoating one person - but there again, I don't have to sell newspapers so what do I know?
Thanks for that analysis, Messy. Having had a read through it now, I'm of the same view itself.

The Action Plan may well exist but mightn't have been sent to the residents, perhaps it came as two attachments and only the FRA was released. It wouldn't be the first time.

The problem with the coverage of the FRA now is that the public have absolutely no idea about the scope of the FRA. This document, which the media also has in full, is being manipulated by the use of a few choice examples of poor language or findings that the TMO wasn't doing it's required visual inspections of fire evacuation routes and firefighting equipment.

Remember the scope was only related to the common areas and not the structure as a whole, which would have been dealt with in a later assessment in 2016 and as noted by Mr. Stokes, that would be something which would have to be addressed in CDM, at design stage and through materials and testing.

While it's dangerous to draw conclusions, there is also reference in 2012 to the lack of fire doors on apartments. These were subsequently installed (30 minute duration) by the TMO but it makes the situation in Camden all the more damning, in my opinion. Without too much hyperbole, a "stay put" policy in such circumstances is more like a "stay and die" policy as vital safe evacuation time is lost as we saw in Grenfell if you stay in place in a situation where rescue is not able to reach you despite the crews best efforts.

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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by hammer1 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:40 am

Sadly it seems to be another misinformation from the media. They state the £250,000 payment was for the single FRA which is not the case it was over 2012-2016 and over other sites as well. Although that statement in the caveat needs to be explained its a bit harsh to turn that in that fact he informed his client to keep significant findings secret from the authorities? the inquiry will source out the truth on this.

Not a great fan of PAS79, but this is more detailed than most I see (very little in the comments section normally, at least this guy goes into more detail) however this format is the nearest to an agreed national format you have. Also from his website he is a IFE (Fire Risk Register - life safety and auditor) accredited. I feel the poor chap may struggle in the industry after this even if no issues come from his report/attitude and service, guilty by association and poor media reporting....

It maybe the installation/ building regulations are at fault more so than the FRA.

I would of thought a type 3 FRA would of suited this building more?

This has certainly increased my lack of faith towards the news in such tragic events......very bad indeed.
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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by hammer1 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:47 am

EagleBeagle wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:03 am
Messy wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:23 pm
Other than the lack of an action plan, this is not a bad FRA

The layout is broadly PAS79, so don't blame the assessor for it's useless layout!!
I hate it with a vengeance as it is not logical and fails to layout the information in a user friendly, accessible (for members of the public) fashion. However, it does usually involve an action plan. Just because we haven't seen it, does not mean there isn't one. So lets be careful with alleging he (the assessor) has made an error.

OK, he is chancing it saying the fire brigade can't ask for it after all lets not forget Article 27 of the Fire Safety Order:

Powers of inspectors

27.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, an inspector may do anything necessary for the purpose of carrying out this Order and any regulations made under it into effect and in particular, so far as may be necessary for that purpose, shall have power to do at any reasonable time the following—

(a)to enter any premises which he has reason to believe it is necessary for him to enter for the purpose mentioned above and to inspect the whole or part of the premises and anything in them, where such entry and inspection may be effected without the use of force;
(b)to make such inquiry as may be necessary for any of the following purposes—
(i)to ascertain, as regards any premises, whether the provisions of this Order or any regulations made under it apply or have been complied with; and
(ii)to identify the responsible person in relation to the premises;
(c)to require the production of, or where the information is recorded in computerised form, the furnishing of extracts from, any records (including plans)—
(i)which are required to be kept by virtue of any provision of this Order or regulations made under it; or
(ii)which it is necessary for him to see for the purposes of an examination or inspection under this article,and to inspect and take copies of, or of any entry in, the records;
(d)to require any person having responsibilities in relation to any premises (whether or not the responsible person) to give him such facilities and assistance with respect to any matters or things to which the responsibilities of that person extend as are necessary for the purpose of enabling the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred on him by this article;


I really do not want to be critical of this report. I don't think its that bad and covers areas that I wouldn't necessarily point out.

The problems around Grenfell are complex and many. Competence is most definitely a part, but I would not question Mr Stokes's competence from this FRA as it would most probably been seen as suitable and sufficient if subject to a LFB audit.

Designers, CDM roles, testing organisations, architects, the landlords, builders and others may well have a more important role in what happened leading to this disaster compared with the guy who carried out the fire risk assessment.

The media (including the hapless Mail on Sunday) need to keep calm & slow down. There are several investigations in progress, so let's all take a chill pill. I for one am more interested in the truth than I am in scapegoating one person - but there again, I don't have to sell newspapers so what do I know?
Thanks for that analysis, Messy. Having had a read through it now, I'm of the same view itself.

The Action Plan may well exist but mightn't have been sent to the residents, perhaps it came as two attachments and only the FRA was released. It wouldn't be the first time.

The problem with the coverage of the FRA now is that the public have absolutely no idea about the scope of the FRA. This document, which the media also has in full, is being manipulated by the use of a few choice examples of poor language or findings that the TMO wasn't doing it's required visual inspections of fire evacuation routes and firefighting equipment.

Remember the scope was only related to the common areas and not the structure as a whole, which would have been dealt with in a later assessment in 2016 and as noted by Mr. Stokes, that would be something which would have to be addressed in CDM, at design stage and through materials and testing.

While it's dangerous to draw conclusions, there is also reference in 2012 to the lack of fire doors on apartments. These were subsequently installed (30 minute duration) by the TMO but it makes the situation in Camden all the more damning, in my opinion. Without too much hyperbole, a "stay put" policy in such circumstances is more like a "stay and die" policy as vital safe evacuation time is lost as we saw in Grenfell if you stay in place in a situation where rescue is not able to reach you despite the crews best efforts.
The thing is, good communicated evacuation procedures should state if you feel threatened or if the fire is effecting you, evacuate they should not just say stay in flat until otherwise instructed by the F&RS. To be honest I am not sure why the F&RS were still communicating to residents to stay in flats, even at the later stages? Surely seeing how the fire was developing as they arrived would of been to adopt a simultaneous evacuation and a search and rescue approach straight away? as per one of the outcomes of the lakanal House enquiry? There was no way they were going to contain this fire.
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Re: Huge fire at tower block

Post by Jack Kane » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:20 pm

I'd like to thank everybody contributing to this discussion, not only for your valuable comments, but for the respectful and professional manner in the approach you are all taking.

It is a highly emotive event which is affecting so many people and it is our duty as H&S professionals to remain as objective as we can with the information we have.

I think this discussion will float at the top of the active topics for quite some time as more and more information is made available, but I have made it a 'sticky' for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Huge fire at Grenfell Tower block

Post by Waterbaby » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:55 am

../.

"London fire brigade boss: ‘It was a massive risk, but it’s our job to go in’

In extreme situations such as Grenfell Tower, the local authority will dispatch a structural surveyor. But in the early hours of the morning one was not immediately available and Cotton had to make urgent decisions about whether to commit firefighters in the absence of that formal assessment."

Saturday 17 June 2017 - https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... fell-tower

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