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Insulation and fire risk
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plevenite
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:53 am 
Post subject: Insulation and fire risk
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I see that the latest score is that 34 samples of building cladding have been tested from 17 different areas in the UK, none of the 34 has passed the test.

That got me to thinking about fire prevention in the home. My insulation is the fire resistant stuff, but I should think plenty of people have the polystyrene which burns and gives off toxic fumes. Add to that wooden floors throughout most village houses, solid fuel stoves and often wiring which leaves much to be desired and I wonder how many of us give this matter sufficient thought.
  
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:37 am 
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At the risk of sounding as though I'm engaging in a spot of halo-burnishing, we have:

    Non-combustible insulation - and with no internal air-gaps - on the outside of our house. The "usual" expanded polystyrene-type panels were certainly a lot cheaper but both less safe and less insulating.

    Ionizing smoke detectors on every floor/landing.

    Carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.

    Flue pipe thermometers on all our wood stoves.

    Commercial-grade water/CO2/powder extinguishers close to all possible sources of fire - and they ARE regularly tested and serviced by a proper specialist company.

    Automatically recharging battery-powered emergency lights in all rooms, which turn on when the power fails, when movement is detected and/or manually

    Fire blankets in every kitchen - even though we don't fry anything.

    IR security cameras in all rooms susceptible to fire-risk.

    Smoke-hoods and passive respirators in our bedside tables. The "smoke-hoods" are actually turkey-sized oven bags, a trick I picked up when I did work for the AAIB many moons ago.

    An easily-accessible (from the inside Cool ) escape route from every floor.


Sh*t can still happen but we've tried our best to anticipate and minimise its effect.
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Tabbul
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:58 am 
Post subject: Re: Insulation and fire risk
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plevenite wrote:
I wonder how many of us give this matter sufficient thought.


Seedy they OP clearly asks if you've given it sufficient thought!

A simple, yes would have been enough. Wink
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:31 pm 
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But then again, "Yes" on its own doesn't exactly indicate how much thought has been given or if it actually resulted in any action.... Wink

Hopefully my response will start a discussion about what fire precautions are sensible and what sort of technology is available. Very Happy
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Nightowl
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Hopefully my response will start a discussion about what fire precautions are sensible and what sort of technology is available

I doubt it Wink
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:28 pm 
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Then let the beggars burn! Cool
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Cliff
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:55 pm 
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Oh for a bit of hind sight. When I had my house built, in sadly ignorance, I immediately accepted the proposal of insulating it. Only when it was more or less complete did I realise that it was bog standard polystyrene. I had no knowledge about house insulation but plain common sense told me it was not the best. Fortunately the master bedroom balcony has a relatively short, 3Mtr drop to the ground and the railings mean this can be reduced to 1.5Mtrs. Cladding fires are rare and personal safety is basically awareness and fire alarms.  
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Xanthos
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Location: UK p/t + Bg p/t; Bg f/t in 09/17

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:54 am 
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Seedy wrote:
At the risk of sounding as though I'm engaging in a spot of halo-burnishing, we have:

    Non-combustible insulation - and with no internal air-gaps - on the outside of our house. The "usual" expanded polystyrene-type panels were certainly a lot cheaper but both less safe and less insulating.

    Ionizing smoke detectors on every floor/landing.

    Carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.

    Flue pipe thermometers on all our wood stoves.

    Commercial-grade water/CO2/powder extinguishers close to all possible sources of fire - and they ARE regularly tested and serviced by a proper specialist company.

    Automatically recharging battery-powered emergency lights in all rooms, which turn on when the power fails, when movement is detected and/or manually

    Fire blankets in every kitchen - even though we don't fry anything.

    IR security cameras in all rooms susceptible to fire-risk.

    Smoke-hoods and passive respirators in our bedside tables. The "smoke-hoods" are actually turkey-sized oven bags, a trick I picked up when I did work for the AAIB many moons ago.

    An easily-accessible (from the inside Cool ) escape route from every floor.


Sh*t can still happen but we've tried our best to anticipate and minimise its effect.


You should know Seedy enjoys his beacon status, and doesn't like to get a roasting, although the basting hoods sound like a novelty in the bedroom!

Fair play though, but given the likely slow response of the emergency services, does anyone have power pump hoses sourced from their well or a pool?

Apart from reviewing the fire retardant status of wall / ceiling insulation, it's also worth looking at soft cladding in furniture, mattresses, bedding and curtain material. Fumes like hydrogen cyanide mentioned in the London tower fire analysis are lethal. Having witnessed some wildfires in woodland and heathland over the years, and attended several fires in London with LFB as a paramedic, and on Op Fresco, a key lesson learned was the lethality of fumes released from older furniture types, its a major hazard as it often kills silently long before anyone gets burnt.

I've never spotted any fire hydrants located around the villages, but I may have just missed them. Alternatively, I assume any emergency fire response is reliant on water carried in a tanker tender, or domestic supply is utilised on scene.

The forest fires currently still being tackled in Portugal are also a reminder for many in Bg that the changing weather patterns here are a factor too. There are countrywide changes occurring, including depopulation leading to unmanaged landscapes especially in the NW. The impact of reduced thickness of snowfall in the mountains, warmer winters and drier summers also have an impact.
  
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:50 am 
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No wells on this mountain and pools are strictly the Province of the Parvenu in my book.... Wink

We do have outside hosepipes on the bottom two floors, fed from the outside water main, and with surprisingly high pressure given our location, but how much use they would be if a fire really took hold is anyone's guess.
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Xanthos
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Cliff wrote:
Oh for a bit of hind sight. When I had my house built, in sadly ignorance, I immediately accepted the proposal of insulating it. Only when it was more or less complete did I realise that it was bog standard polystyrene. I had no knowledge about house insulation but plain common sense told me it was not the best. Fortunately the master bedroom balcony has a relatively short, 3Mtr drop to the ground and the railings mean this can be reduced to 1.5Mtrs. Cladding fires are rare and personal safety is basically awareness and fire alarms.

You might consider one of these, rather than risk a broken ankle in the night. Obviously it doesn't need to be a permanent attachment, but needs must when lucifer calls.
http://www.fireprotectiononline.co.uk/data/Kiddeladdermanual.pdf
  
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Cliff
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Xanthos wrote:
Cliff wrote:
Oh for a bit of hind sight. When I had my house built, in sadly ignorance, I immediately accepted the proposal of insulating it. Only when it was more or less complete did I realise that it was bog standard polystyrene. I had no knowledge about house insulation but plain common sense told me it was not the best. Fortunately the master bedroom balcony has a relatively short, 3Mtr drop to the ground and the railings mean this can be reduced to 1.5Mtrs. Cladding fires are rare and personal safety is basically awareness and fire alarms.

You might consider one of these, rather than risk a broken ankle in the night. Obviously it doesn't need to be a permanent attachment, but needs must when lucifer calls.
http://www.fireprotectiononline.co.uk/data/Kiddeladdermanual.pdf


Thanks for the suggestion but I think a coil of 1 inch rope with a sturdy hook spliced on the end would suffice
  
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plevenite
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:34 am 
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I think one problem is the conflict between fire security-have a fire escape, be able to exit windows onto a flat roof etc. and the security risk- bar downstairs windows, remove keys from locks and don't have any easy ways of clambering up the buolding.  
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:33 am 
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plevenite wrote:
I think one problem is the conflict between fire security-have a fire escape, be able to exit windows onto a flat roof etc. and the security risk- bar downstairs windows, remove keys from locks and don't have any easy ways of clambering up the buolding.


If you'll excuse the pun, it's always going to be a balancing act: as you say, if it stops people coming in, it may well also stop YOU getting out.

Given the nature of this whole area, you additionally need to think about what effect any security precautions may have on your ability to get out of your home in the event of an earthquake; for example if bars on windows/doors bend then you won't be unlocking them and clambering out that way...and there's no warranty that an earthquake won't cause a fire! Wink
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Cliff
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:56 pm 
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The security gate on my balcony is only shut and locked in my absence. At night a 40Kg mut is there to welcome the un invited.  
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Seedy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:50 am 
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40kg? Just a pup then... Wink
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