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High rise fire?????

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by cda, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-40293035
    Why don't all high-rises have sprinklers?
    BBC News
    A sprinkler system is one of the most effective tools available to prevent the spread of fire in tall buildings. Grenfell Tower and thousands of others in the UK do not have sprinklers installed. Reality Check explores the reasons.
    Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted. This requirement wasn't applied retroactively so did not apply to Grenfell Tower, which was built in 1974.
    Existing high-rises in England must have them fitted if a fundamental change is made to the structure or use of the building.
    These regulations are the same in Northern Ireland. In Scotland all new residential buildings taller than 18m must be fitted with sprinklers. In Wales since last year, all new and refurbished residential accommodation must have sprinklers. Nowhere in the UK is it a requirement to retroactively fit sprinklers in existing buildings.
    Martha Kearney, Presenter, The World At One, BBC Radio 4
    This tragedy has brought back memories of other fires in high-rise blocks and warnings ignored. The World at One has looked into what recommendations were made in the past.
    After a fire at Shirley Towers, Southampton, in 2010, which killed two firefighters, the coroner said: "Social housing providers should be encouraged to consider the retrofitting of sprinklers in all existing high-rise buildings in excess of 30 metres in height."
    In 2005, a fire at Harrow Court in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, killed a woman and two firefighters trying to rescue her. The Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service report recommended the UK Fire Service should explore options for high-rise buildings, including the "provision of sprinklers".
    After six people died at Lakanal House in south London in 2009, the coroner said "It is recommended that [the Department for Communities and Local Government] encourage providers of housing in high-rise residential buildings containing multiple domestic premises to consider the retrofitting of sprinkler systems."
    How expensive?
    Fewer than 1% of council tower blocks are fitted with sprinklers - so what does it cost to fit a new sprinkler system in an old building?
    Sir Ken Knight, the author of a report on the Lakanal House fire, said that while there was significant evidence of the effectiveness of systems such as sprinklers controlling fire spread in buildings, it was not considered "practical or economically viable" to enforce the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.
    The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), the trade body for the fire sprinkler industry, said retrofitting Grenfell Tower with sprinklers might have cost £200,000. This is the figure for installing a sprinkler system but does not include potential maintenance fees or costs associated with the wider redevelopment of a building.
    Costing will of course vary from building to building. After the Shirley Towers fire in 2010, it cost the council £1m to install sprinklers in three tower blocks.
    The cost can be high because in blocks made of concrete and steel like Grenfell, the process is difficult and time-consuming. So the focus has been on other measures which would contain a fire to stop it spreading.
    However, Roy Wilsher, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said it is "certainly something we need to look at again".
    He also said that if the fire spread up the outside of a high-rise, as it is reported to have done at Grenfell Tower, then sprinklers might not have made a difference The Grenfell fire was similar to one that broke out in Dubai in 2016 - the difference is "that building had sprinklers and nobody was killed", according to Alan Brinson of the European Fire Sprinkler Network.
    In 2015, a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association said that nobody had ever died in a fire in the UK in a property with a "properly installed sprinkler system working the way it's meant to".
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  3. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Risk of high-rise fire deaths in U.S. has dropped
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/15/risk-of-high-rise-fire-deaths-in-u-s-has-dropped/?utm_term=.f64e520da3e4
    The horrors of the deadly high-rise fire in London happen every year in this country, according to a report on high-rise fires, but the risks are only a fraction of what they were decades ago.
    An average of 40 people die and 520 are injured every year in high-rise building fires, mostly apartments, according to the November report from the National Fire Protection Association.
    If you live in a high rise and want to know your own risk, Robert Solomon has a simple answer for you. Does it have a modern automatic sprinkler system? If so, you should be safe.
    “We have a really good track record with our high-rise buildings in the last 20 to 25 years,” said Solomon, head of the Building and Life Safety Codes division at NFPA.
    [London high-rise apartment fire death toll rising]
    The first requirements for apartment-building sprinklers went into effect in the mid-1970s. Over time, the rules enforced better systems. Now any death in a building with a sprinkler is “so rare” that it gets special review, he said.
    “We probably have zero fatalities in a high-rise building in the U.S. that’s protected with an automatic sprinkler system,” he said. “It’s zero or approaching zero.”
    But that doesn’t mean everyone is safe. Older high-rise apartments often lack sprinklers.
    Early reports from witnesses at the London fire indicated that there were no sprinklers and that alarms may not have sounded.
    Almost 60 percent of fires in U.S. high-rise apartments occur in buildings that do not have automatic sprinklers, according to the NFPA report on fires in high-rise buildings seven stories or higher. The report looked at fires from 2009 through 2013. But that rate compared favorably to low-rise apartments, where 85 percent of fires happened in buildings without automatic sprinklers.
    Almost all fires in both high-rise and low-rise apartments were in buildings that had smoke detectors or alarms.
    The good news for high-rise apartments, hotels, dormitories, offices or medical facilities is that stricter rules for sprinklers, building materials and alarms mean that fires there are much more likely to be contained to just one room or one floor. The report said just 4 percent of high-rise apartment fires spread from room to room, and only 2 percent spread to another floor. The share of fires spreading to more rooms or other floors in low-rise apartments is more than twice as high. Similarly, high-rise hotels and offices had fewer fires spreading across rooms and floors than low-rise buildings did.
    [​IMG]
    Improved safety has not been uniform across the country. Rates of death in fire are about twice the national average in a cluster of southern states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Tennessee. The District of Columbia is almost 50 percent higher than the national average. New York, New Jersey and most of New England have below-average rates, as do Florida and most of the states on the West Coast where a greater proportion of the housing is newer. Maryland and Virginia are both very close to the national average of about 1 person out of 100,000 dying from fire each year.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    "That’s not just some random thing,” Solomon said of the regional differences. “When we look at some of those southern states, the fire loss data in general for high-rise or single-family homes, those rates are going to tend to be higher.”
    Activists in London complained that the safety standards for the building were low because the tenants were lower income. Solomon said that poverty could be a factor in the higher fire rates in the southern United States. Black children and seniors have greater risk of dying in fires, according to a 2010 NFPA report that gathered together various demographic studies of fire risk, but that risk evens out in wealthier areas.
    The disparity in fire rates in the south could potentially come from weaker enforcement of fire codes, according to Solomon, as well as poorer quality housing. However, resistance to retrofitting older buildings with better fire protection, he said, happens in expensive developments as much as in affordable housing.
     
    #23 mark handler, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  4. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    The reasoning for 2 is in case one becomes inaccessible due to fire. This causes a significant challenge for a performance based solution in that how do you provide the level of service of a second exit without actually providing it? Reduction in number of exits required due to occupancy or travel distance is typically done using a timed egress study, but I've never seen one attempted for a single exit.
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  6. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Nothing that isn't egress/life safety should be in the exit enclosures.....

    (Amd) 1022.5 Penetrations. Penetrations into and openings through interior exit stairways and
    ramps are prohibited except for required exit doors, equipment and ductwork necessary for
    independent ventilation or pressurization, sprinkler piping, standpipes, electrical raceway for fire
    department communication and security systems and electrical raceway serving the interior exit
    stairway and ramp and terminating at a steel box not exceeding 16 square inches (0.010 m²).
    Such penetrations shall be protected in accordance with Section 714. There shall be no
    penetrations or communicating openings, whether protected or not, between adjacent interior exit
    stairways and ramps.
     
    tmurray likes this.
  7. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Did the elevators have emergency power? I herd there was no emergency lighting working.
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    More than likely not

    Or it did not work
     
  9. emy

    emy Member

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    Now that is a real encouragement, especially considering the number of line-of-duty fire fatalities. The study conducted by a news site says that the risk of high-rise fire deaths in the US has declined.
    High-rise apartments should ensure if they have got an automatic sprinkler system.
    The first requirement for sprinklers went into effect in the mid-1970s. Over time, the rules enforced better systems and there have been very less deaths in a building with a sprinkler.
    Fire alarm system monitoring ensures that the sprinkler will set itself in action in case of an emergency and alerts the system and notifies you if there is a problem with the sprinkler system.
    Today 85% of fires happen in apartments or buildings without automatic sprinklers.
     
  10. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    I wonder what percentage of buildings are sprinklered...15%? Logic would state that whether a building has or does not have sprinklers is irrelevant to the chances of a fire starting...
     
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  11. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    To quote our good friend "Suppression is a failure in prevention"...And fire alarm monitoring has nothing to do with the sprinkler system setting itself into action unless it is in Hollywood....
     
  12. emy

    emy Member

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    What I tried to convey is that the combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life and property damage by at least 50%.
    Property losses are 85% less in residences with fire sprinklers compared to those without sprinklers.
     
  13. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Well there is another high rise fire burning good in Dubai

    More news at five
     
  14. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  15. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    Wonder if the sprinklers went off? Also wonder if this is the one our old buddy Packsaddle inspected? A comment on another forum:

     
  16. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  17. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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