Mr Punter

Another timber frame fire

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3 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

They rented the place, so landlords choice. And a rather large war came after.

 

Ah, I was assuming a Tea-related incident.

 

3 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Because they are dishonest and morally bankrupt.

 

K.. but the issue has to sort-of do with the house, surely. If you pay your premium on time, and you comply with the house related safety rules, extinguishers, fire alarms properly set up etc, why would anything else affect their payout?

 

"You recently had a parking ticket so we are not paying your burnt down house!"....

 

What am I missing?

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1 minute ago, puntloos said:

I was planning to seal myself in my amazing dream house and never come out again

A Northern Irish mate of mine, who just happens to live in Scotland said something similar. But for other reasons.

He actually said he would live in a treehouse and smoke cannabis until things changed.

I shall mention fitting a sprinkler.

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7 minutes ago, puntloos said:

 

But I was planning to seal myself in my amazing dream house and never come out again! ;)

 

 

Interesting.. will keep an eye on it.. anyway my plot is the center of town, so water pressure likely isn't a big issue, 2000 quid is "doable"..

 

Be interesting to see if you can get close to £2k for a single house installation.  My experience of looking around and getting quotes suggested that a one-off installation was going to cost a lot more than that.

 

Also worth looking at mitigating the fire risk in other ways, so that sprinklers aren't needed everywhere.  The most common causes of fire (leaving aside smoking) are in the kitchen (cooking, faulty appliances etc) followed by small electrical appliances (notably dodgy chargers left unattended).  We don't have a tumble dryer, but if we had then I'd have considered that a significant risk.  We have a policy of only charging phones etc in the kitchen, with the USB chargers built in to an outlet there, partly because that eliminates the possibility of dodgy chargers causing a fire, partly because the kitchen has fire resistant work surfaces.  If we'd fitted the mist sprinkler system it would have only been in the kitchen, as for us that was where there was far and away the highest probability of any fire starting.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, puntloos said:

What am I missing

That it was a business.

In the end I think the brewery paid out, but he is no longer the landlord if the pub.

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2 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

 

Be interesting to see if you can get close to £2k for a single house installation.  My experience of looking around and getting quotes suggested that a one-off installation was going to cost a lot more than that.

 

Also worth looking at mitigating the fire risk in other ways, so that sprinklers aren't needed everywhere.  The most common causes of fire (leaving aside smoking) are in the kitchen (cooking, faulty appliances etc) followed by small electrical appliances (notably dodgy chargers left unattended). 

 

One thing to note, as an electrical engineer, I must say that chargers don't seem lik the type of gear that would easily catch fire. No moving parts, usually protected against trying to provide too much power (unless it is *REALLY* dodgy, but it's trivially cheap to build in a safety) ... I would worry a bit about phones catching fire while charging but.. 

 

Do we have any stats on this? Are chargers really an issue or is this more myth than fact? (and even if they catch fire once in a while.. often enough to engineer safeties for?)

 

2 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

We don't have a tumble dryer, but if we had then I'd have considered that a significant risk.  We have a policy of only charging phones etc in the kitchen, with the USB chargers built in to an outlet there, partly because that eliminates the possibility of dodgy chargers causing a fire, partly because the kitchen has fire resistant work surfaces.  If we'd fitted the mist sprinkler system it would have only been in the kitchen, as for us that was where there was far and away the highest probability of any fire starting.

 

 

 

*nod* 

 

Would sprinklers be installed by the standard plumber who does the main waterworks for a property or would you look to specialized companies?

 

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I think the issue is chargers that don't have any circuitry to control the charge of dodgy batteries. It is the batteries that then burst in to flames. When powerful cheap led bike lights first started coming out of china I know there were quite a few instances of this happening. The battery packs tended to be several used 18650 cells from old laptops made in to a battery pack.

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56 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

The biggest issue I have come across specifying sprinkler systems is that the water infrastructure outside of big towns/cities, seems rarely able to provide a sufficient flow, so either you have to pay to upgrade a water main and/or find somewhere to store tanks of water - so the costs can rack up pretty quickly if you are looking at a single dwelling

 

We had a dedicated 50mm connection for the sprinklers.

 

We did the potable water in 32mm.  Do not try to put in a single supply for both or you will get hit on the standing charge for the larger meter.  Water cos don't charge for fire supplies.

 

9 minutes ago, puntloos said:

Would sprinklers be installed by the standard plumber who does the main waterworks for a property or would you look to specialized companies?

 

Specialist job 100%.

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31 minutes ago, puntloos said:

 

One thing to note, as an electrical engineer, I must say that chargers don't seem lik the type of gear that would easily catch fire. No moving parts, usually protected against trying to provide too much power (unless it is *REALLY* dodgy, but it's trivially cheap to build in a safety) ... I would worry a bit about phones catching fire while charging but.. 

 

Do we have any stats on this? Are chargers really an issue or is this more myth than fact? (and even if they catch fire once in a while.. often enough to engineer safeties for?)

 

 

One problem is that there are loads of fake chargers around, that externally are pretty near identical to name-brand stuff.  These all have switched mode power supplies inside, and the drive to make them smaller has meant that they handle quite a bit of power for their size.  A company like Apple can invest in ensuring that the design and manufacture of their very tiny USB chargers is safe, but do any of the multitude of, mainly Chinese, knock-off manufacturers put the same care and attention into their products? 

 

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17 hours ago, nod said:

I do a lot of fire checking on TF and others 

While the fireproofing is good on commercial 

Houses are not so good 

 

The main objective when fireproofing is to keep the fire out of the cavity 

The main problem is insulation 

Gypsun and Hilti have some great products But they are hardly ever used on houses If I was to build a TF house I would close off all window and door cavity’s with Gyp fire batt Extra cost 100s and I’d include a horizontal brake around the perimeter to check any fire reaching the roof space 

 

We are going to put intumescent barriers in the cavity and having all of the exterior timbers factory treated with HR Prof to stop spread fo fire.  We need to do this anyway for at least part of the building due to proximity to the boundary and adjacent properties.

 

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Worth noting that some TF houses have cavities fully filled with fire-resistant insulation, plus plasterboard provides a bit of protection from fire reaching the timber frame.  Offhand I seem to remember plasterboard as lasting about 20 minutes or so before fire started to break through.  BRE did some tests years ago, and I remember reading through them back when we were looking at build methods.

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Just now, JSHarris said:

Offhand I seem to remember plasterboard as lasting about 20 minutes or so before fire started to break through. 

From what I remember Scotframe quote a 60 minute fire resistance, 30 minutes per sheet. I would also have thought that having the cavity completely filled with injected insulation would help on the closed panel systems.

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5 minutes ago, Ralph said:

From what I remember Scotframe quote a 60 minute fire resistance, 30 minutes per sheet. I would also have thought that having the cavity completely filled with injected insulation would help on the closed panel systems.

 

 

Yes, full fill cellulose pretty much stops fire dead, as the stuff won't sustain flames, and it tends to stop air getting to stuff that could burn.  I did a couple of tests on some left over cellulose, using a blowtorch, and all it seemed to do was go black and char, it wouldn't actually burn when I took the blow torch away.

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Some more on this. I had a phone call this morning with a mate who lives a mile away.

 

It seems that the flats were probably the social housing element of a large long term development, which was done between about 20 years ago and ten years ago - with the flats being the later elements. So no excuse of "old building".

 

(Medium rise timber frame was researched in the 1990s and famously tested at full scale in the Airship Hanger at Cardington. They then did a further project about Restoring Timber Frame After Fire on the testbed which they had just burnt down. Nothing like recycling.)


According to him, there is basically little or nothing left.

 

I expect it to be about detailing and precautions to predict from the consequences of poor detailing.

 

I would hope the consequences will be:

 

- Sprinklers in medium rise TF flats (assuming in high rise because of Grenfell). Medium rise TF is 4-8 stories.

- More detailed mandatory supervision in multi-home blocks.

- Perhaps sprinklers in TF above x storeys, where x may be 3 or 4.

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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Data point on Sprinkler systems.

 

I spoke to a good local company about a system for a potential 8 bed HMO in a double fronted detached house - roughly 4 x 14ft square rooms on the first 2 floors, and 2 more in the attics.

 

Estimate came in as 5-10k ballpark (after 15 minute phone conversation) 3-4 years ago, but I would expect the price of these to be on a declining curve still.

 

F

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I suppose an interesting question to ask is, "is it worth fitting sprinklers if they don't save lives?"

 

Having read through a lot of fire statistics this morning, the evidence seems to suggest that fire alarms and multiple occupancy are far and away the most significant things that save lives.  Sprinklers may play a small part, but they will also (unless of the mist type) cause a fair bit of water damage, plus they may cause more damage than some minor fire would otherwise.

 

If a house end up having to be demolished because of water damage, then perhaps it's better to just take the view that getting people out of the house in the event of fire is far more important than trying to suppress the fire.  Perhaps the main argument against this is preventing the spread of fire to other properties.

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7 hours ago, JSHarris said:

 We don't have a tumble dryer, but if we had then I'd have considered that a significant risk.  

 

We do, but have a policy of only using it when someone is in. And have a smoke detector in the utility room (regs don't require one there)

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A near by ICF self build who refused to have opening windows in a two story build had to install a sprinkler system. He done a few day course and DIY installed, pretty straight forward installation and it was respectable cost for material. 

 

I am planning to retrofit a single sprinkler above the log gasification boiler. Its in the garage with concrete block walls so not to bothered about water damage.

Edited by Alexphd1

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2 hours ago, JSHarris said:

I suppose an interesting question to ask is, "is it worth fitting sprinklers if they don't save lives?"

 

Having read through a lot of fire statistics this morning, the evidence seems to suggest that fire alarms and multiple occupancy are far and away the most significant things that save lives.  Sprinklers may play a small part, but they will also (unless of the mist type) cause a fair bit of water damage, plus they may cause more damage than some minor fire would otherwise.

 

If a house end up having to be demolished because of water damage, then perhaps it's better to just take the view that getting people out of the house in the event of fire is far more important than trying to suppress the fire.  Perhaps the main argument against this is preventing the spread of fire to other properties.

 

I think that up until recently the sprinkler industry had a claim that no one had ever been killed in a house fitted with sprinklers in the UK. Obvs that is a carefully nuanced claim, but I am impressed.

 

I think the number is now one.

 

So they do save lives istm.

 

The issue in Wales was that in Cost Per Life terms as used in the public health type evaluation there were lower cost things that would save more lives, but they went ahead on a political decision. You only need to remember that it will take 100 years for half of the stock to have sprinklers with no retrofits (ie approx 1% new stock each year) to see the slowness of impact.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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10 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/738161/fire-statistics-data-tables-fire0602-sep18.xlsx

 

"Other electrical appliances" and "electrical distribution" fire causes are pretty negligible. 

 

"Chargers are a major cause of fire" Myth mostly busted.

Edited by puntloos

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The Richmond House fire is interesting and concerning as well. This building.com article corrects one of the myths about the fire - the external cladding wasn't timber, it was  "Fibre reinforced Portland cement cladding planking" of limited flammability. The article says that there was no evidence of vertical or horizontal fire stopping to the cavity, but that it was thought to comply with the letter of the regulations. I think I've also read (although I can't find the link now), that the insulation between the studs was mineral wool. 

 

https://www.building.co.uk/news/fire-brigade-drops-stay-put-advice-after-latest-homes-blaze/5101684.article

 

It suggests to me that the fire started in one of the flats and spread out and up the cavity. Sprinklers may have helped to contain it (or may not have). 

 

My job is as a Development Manager for similar blocks of affordable housing and you wonder whether specifying Rockwool over mineral (glass) wool would have acted to prevent the spread of fire through the timber frame. Or specifying a fire resistant vapour barrier,  breather membrane, or racking board But it all adds cost... 

 

 

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