"Even firefighters in their protective gear struggled.."
13 June 2018
Tony Sullivan, explaining the bigger picture, talks about widespread systemic problems in the testing regime,building regulations, fire safety, and building control. He also helps us to understand the "stay put" policy.
"In fact, the “stay put” policy is the only thing that can work routinely in a residential high-rise building, and here is why.
The building is designed to contain fire in each individual flat and for the stairways especially to remain clear of smoke and heat. This is why it is vital all doors are fire doors and closed in the event of fire (which also means working door closers and smoke seals on all doors are essential).
If everyone were to evacuate around the same time, opening doors as they did so, this would immediately compromise the fire safety of the building. Aside from all the crush injuries, if all residents opened all their doors and the doors to the stairwell at the same time, heat and smoke would intrude into the only escape route. This could create a chimney effect, spreading fire, and result in loss of life. Quite simply, moving away from a “stay put” policy will kill people."
"The narrative that this is all the fault of one council, government, manufacturer or contractor is wrong. This doesn’t mean people or organisations aren’t guilty of negligence or worse over Grenfell. It just means that the issue is much bigger than even this terrible incident. It involves hundreds of buildings, across scores of councils and several governments over 20 years. It is a systemic problem with building regulations, fire safety legislation, testing of materials, maintenance of blocks and enforcement agencies. The problem, however, is much bigger and won’t be resolved by sending someone to jail, even if that is appropriate."
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