Company behind the Grenfell Tower fire says it could have been put out with a simple fire extinguisher

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And if the fire brigade had magic wands…


“I wasn’t me, guv!” – most fires can be put out with a simple fire extinguisher, if you catch them early enough. “LOOK OVER THERE!” (sidles off quickly)


Ah, the ol’ Shaggy defense:


The full closing submissions are here:

Arconic is only one of many making submissions. All the rest are also up on the enquiry website.

I really don’t know why it’s so hard for newspapers and websites to link to the source. Summaries are all very well but a link is easy.

Given that the closing submissions amount to 48 pages of carefully drafted text, the OP (and Guardian summary) is a bit tendentious.

The company is not wrong as far as I can tell.

Their submissions make some points about the expert evidence which I can’t judge the merit of but the overall point that their panels on their own did not cause or exacerbate the fire is perfectly fair.

Essentially, their submissions boil down to: You can create a safe system with their panels. This wasn’t a safe system but they had nothing to do with designing the system or selecting the components.


However, that does not show that the use of ACM panels in itself would have given rise to a risk to health and safety.

But it has been shown that the cladding, all by itself, is combustible. To their point, there were other factors that contributed to the fire and i could put the blame more on the UK government and the building management for endangering lives and for the lives that were taken during the fire.


As is everything eventually.

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how many hundreds of homes have plastic framed windows…
quite a lot…

Cory’s selective quote of the fire extinguisher extract is potentially misleading; it reads as if the person giving evidence could have put out the fire if he’d had an extinguisher in his hands. Which was not what was reported in The Guardian. This is the fuller extract

Hockman told the inquiry chairman, Sir Martin-Moore Bick: “If the refurbishment of the interior window surrounds and the external envelope of the building had been carried out in a different way, it would have been possible for the firefighters to extinguish the fire in flat 16 before the fire even reached the cladding system.”

Referring to Behailu Kebede, the resident of flat 16, he claimed: “A simple fire extinguisher in his hands would have made a big difference to the outcome.”

One wonders why high-rise flats don’t have extingushers in every flat. Were there any on the landings?


Because the fire is not supposed to leave the flat and British people (like so many) don’t like being told to be safe (or at least our newspapers love the government telling people to be safe, “Nanny state” stories sell so much advertising).



This was discussed at a seminar on fire safety I attended a couple of weeks ago.
Excerpts from the presentation below.
(I’m on holiday right now with limited IT resources; the best I could do ad hoc was to convert the relevant slides into PNG pics. If anyone is interested, PM me and I’ll e-mail you the full PDF.)


The fire not being supposed to leave the flat is hardly a reason to not have a fire extinguisher IN the flat. There is no way I’d live that high up and not know exactly where the nearest one was - preferably inside my flat where it won’t have been at risk of being stolen or tampered with.

I know the resident of flat 16 did much to warn other residents once the fire was out of control but still in his flat. No victim-blaming intended whatsoever but it might be helpful to future safety measures to know where his nearest extinguisher was and whether attempts were made to use it, and if not why not (which may have been for very valid reasons, so - again - no victim blaming implied in asking that question).


I guess we could blame the people living in that tower for being carbon based organisms



Not a problem.
And not really a factor in why Grenfell Tower was such a desaster.

maybe not but it’s still an element in the hazard link

Selective quoting of a badly worded submission. I can see the firm concerned being worried about application issues being blamed on the product.

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I don’t like saying “Company behind Grenfell Tower” because they weren’t the only ones who made materials that contributed to the problem. I don’t think Grenfell was about cladding. It was about a political class who don’t care about poor people burning to death.


The Fire Brigade advice may have been a factor but they’re not to blame, London Fire Brigade made the assumption that people would not clad buildings in flammable material without legal compulsion, but capitalists are going to capitalist…

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You’re absolutely right, but it’s too easy for cough some of us cough to miss that sort of thing.

Earlier this year, my wife asked where the fire extinguisher was. I told her it was under the sink, where it always was.

We took out everything from under the sink: no fire extinguisher. I looked in the garage, the laundry room and all the other weird little storage spots I could have put it.

Most likely I had remembered putting the fire extinguisher under the sink in our last place. Which we moved out of ten years ago.

In the last couple of months we moved out of that place and into another, where we’re landlords for a basement apartment; I am now trying to take a much more proactive handle on this.


Something similar applies to vehicle fires, especially those fueled by gasoline. A timely fire extinguisher would restrict the damage greatly yet how many of us carry extinguishers in our cars? I happen to do so but I know that is rare (and I’m a ways out on the prepper end of the spectrum).

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