Assistant Editor, Informa

June 24, 2022

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Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

Firefighters attend blaze at a high-rise block near Grenfell

The London Fire Brigade has said eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters were sent to a tower block in Queensdale Crescent after a fire broke out on Tuesday morning.

It is reported that the 12th floor of Stebbing House was on fire at 9:23am and was under control by 10:55am.

The London Fire Brigade released a statement on Wednesday on Twitter saying: “Our fire investigators have confirmed the cause of the large blaze in #ShepherdsBush yesterday was the failure of an e-bike’s lithium-ion battery, which has prompted a safety warning from firefighters on how to store and charge the devices”.

Station Commander David Bracewell said from the scene: “Three people from the affected flat left before the brigade arrived. A number of other residents evacuated the building.

“In the early stages we used new technology called 9Eye that enabled a caller to send live stream videos of the incident straight into the Brigade’s 999 call centre.

“Firefighters led six residents to safety via an internal staircase. Further residents who were not affected by fire, heat or smoke were advised to remain in their flats.” Those ‘six residents’ were reported to have Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (Peeps) in place.

A spokesman for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), which manages the building, according to Sky News, said the flats had all been fitted with the “highest-rated fire doors on the market” and “compartmentalisation worked” in keeping the fire contained to one flat. A positive view in contrast to a 2021 UK door inspection survey by FDIS which found that three quarters of fire doors fail their inspection.

Jonathan Stone, the council’s building safety manager, said fire safety measures taken by the local authorities had “prevented another Grenfell”.

The building is less than a mile away from Grenfell Tower where 72 people died following a blaze in 2017.

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