High rise tenants are being urged to report dodgy fire doors in their buildings following last week’s inquest verdict on the Lakanal House tragedy. Residents are being encouraged to take photos of damaged or propped open fire doors and then upload the details to the Theodore Firedoor Facebook page. Campaigners are hoping to put the spotlight on the failure of critical fire safety features. The 2009 fire at the Lakanal House high rise in Camberwell, south London claimed the lives of six people.
Michael Glasser of Kroll Advisory Solutions sent me this video from NBC News in NYC. As I’m sure you’ll notice, the “fire doors” are not code-compliant, but they still provided some protection during the fire.
I get questions all the time about locking egress doors from enclosed courtyards…here’s an example of why courtyard egress is necessary:
The girls, aged 15 and 16, were trapped for 12 hours overnight in an outdoor courtyard at the school in Manchester without food or water. They had gone into school on a Saturday morning for extra maths tuition and were trapped after a fire door shut and locked behind them.
Staff at Whalley Range High School in Manchester left for the day on Saturday, unaware that the girls were there and leaving them trapped.
The pair were unable to call for help because one had left her mobile phone in the classroom and the other’s mobile phone had run out of power, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Here are a couple of articles about how blocked doors hindered rescue and firefighting attempts:
Fire at Men’s Wearhouse clothing store causes $2M in damage – Fox 12 Oregon
Fire crews arrived from Keizer, Salem and Marion County. They attempted to enter through an outside door on the side of the building which turned out to be unusable, and completely welded shut.
Once they got past the sealed door, firefighters then encountered temporary walls that covered the door from the inside, which they also had to cut through.
Eventually, fire personnel were able to get through a small maze of walls and made access into the store, which was filled with smoke by this time.
Barricades hindered fire victim’s rescue – Times Union
TROY — Fire Chief Tom Garrett said firefighters were hindered in reaching the victim of a fatal blaze on Fourth Street Saturday night by two barricaded steel doors in the back of the house.
Garrett said firefighters were driven away by thick smoke and flames at the home’s front entrance around 8 p.m.. But when they tried to access the house at 510 Fourth St. from the back, they encountered steel doors that were blocked from the inside by 2-by-4 inch pieces of wood.
Once firefighters ripped down a wall to gain access around the second door, they found Lillie Pompey, 70, unconscious on a second-floor enclosed porch.
In local news…I took the kids out for frozen yogurt to celebrate the first 70-degree day in a REALLY long time, and I noticed that the new owner had placed a freezer in front of the rear exit from the shop. I asked the kids if they saw a problem – they all knew what was wrong (yay kids!). I mentioned it to the owner and he said, “I know, we’re going to find another place for it. You’re not the first person who told me.” (yay other people!)
The Obamas were in Boston today for the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to honor those touched by the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon. I wonder if they noticed the cathedral doors, which the hard-core iDigHardware fans might remember that I posted about last year.
And finally, if you haven’t seen the emotional show of patriotism from last night’s Boston Bruins game, check it out: