Jane Embury compares two fires in the past week in London and Milan
Last week saw a potentially serious fire in a multi-storey building in London.
More than 15 fire crews and some 100 firefighters were deployed to bring it under control. Luckily, nobody was badly hurt.
The fire in Battersea was in a building housing both private apartments and an hotel.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. However, an early report suggested that it may have started in a second floor hotel bedroom.
Hundreds of guests, staff and residents were evacuated from the 19-storey building.
Efforts to contain the fire seem to have been successful. There was only limited fire damage although smoke did affect upper storeys.
It underlines how fire can occur in any kind of building. When it does happen, the best defence is containment.
Compare that to another fire last weekend in Milan in a 20-storey residential building.
It was part of a recent development and was entirely engulfed by fire. Again, there were no casualties.
However, a central part of the investigation will be to determine how the fire managed to spread throughout the building.
As a rule, any fire in a tall building should be able to burn itself out in the discrete area in which it started.
Containment seems to have worked in London but not in Milan.
It’s what our systems are designed to do – trap fire in one area, allowing for firefighter entry and building evacuation. That minimises damage and protects human life.
Our systems are specified worldwide. All are fully and independently tested, to UK, EU, US and Asian standards.
Our steel frame was tested in combination with SCHOTT PYRANOVA® 120 glass to provide 148 minutes integrity and insulation.
Significantly, the test was carried out with the exterior building surface facing into the furnace.
That test means our system has been independently accredited to provide dual directional fire resistance.
The reason we can offer that guarantee is our rigorous testing regime.
As the London and Milan fires demonstrate, containment is vital in any building, but particularly high-rise buildings.