Fire tragedy could have been prevented
June 21, 2017
Sprinkler Systems, Fire Prevention, Smoke Alarms, Extinguishers, Fire Risk Assessment & Fire Warden Training
In the aftermath of recent tragic events in London, resulting in loss of life and devastation, people are struggling to make sense of the situation. Through all of the tragedy and heartbreak, questions persist about how and why this fire happened, whether it could have been prevented and which warning signs were ignored. If there is one lesson we have learned from this awful event it is how important the inclusion of sprinkler systems are in as many buildings as possible.
The managing director of the Fire Protection Association stated that “A sprinkler system would have “undoubtedly” saved lives at the Grenfell Tower blaze”. This is the general consensus across the board, which is why there is so much anger about what happened, and the fact that fire prevention measures like sprinklers were not present in the dwelling. A catalogue of inexcusable circumstances existed in this tower block such as the fact that Councils did not provide fireproof cladding on the building when refurbishment took place in 2016, alarms were not working as well as the lack of sprinklers. According to the British Automatic Fire Sprinklers Association, more than 3,800 residential housing blocks in the UK remain without sprinklers, as it is not required by law.
While not a total solution, sprinklers will make the surroundings more survivable as they can help to contain fire and smoke. They frequently stop a fire in it’s very early stages, even before anybody has become aware of ignition, and often when a building such as an office is empty at night. Once a fire has taken hold however, there is a high likelihood of toxic gases being released as happened in this case.
There are some heart warming stories emerging from the catastrophe, such as people offering holiday homes to those left homeless, and generous donations made through the Red Cross. Although clearly this can never be allowed to happen again.