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Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 3:06 PM

On 12/31/15, a thread was started by Fredski titled "World's Tallest Inferno". There were many views as to what the origin of the fire was at that time. They have stated they have determined that the source was a short circuit in a lamp which lighted the fa├žade.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/20/463691162/fire-at-dubai-high-rise-tower-is-blamed-on-electrical-issue-in-spotlight

http://ecmweb.com/fire-security/short-circuit-causes-skyscraper-fire-dubai-new-years-eve?NL=ECM-07&Issue=ECM-07_20160127_ECM-07_490&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_5_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000060632&utm_campaign=6384&utm_medium=email&elq2=dfa747bbd4c149c1a851fb999fab3b95

This is a plausible reason but is it a good reason or just a convenient reason?. What do you think?

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#1

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 3:20 PM

Building codes? BUILDING CODES???? We don't need no stinking building codes!

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#2

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 4:00 PM

The entire side of the building is covered with a thick layer of insulating Styrofoam. Something goes wrong and the side of the building burns like .... well, like it is the world's tallest stack of Styrofoam.

Perhaps the wiring of the lamp is not the only safety issue to be considered here.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 4:38 PM

Do you mean it's not flame retardant?

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 9:49 PM

Perhaps the following article can explain why or at least open a few more eyes:

Revealed: how The Address Downtown Dubai hotel fire test was 'meaningless'.

http://www.thenational.ae/business/property/revealed-how-the-address-downtown-dubai-hotel-fire-test-was-meaningless

Lack of building codes? Lack of testing? Graft? Disregard for building standards? Bribery? Nepotism? Money goes to money? Money talks? ___________? ___________? (fill in the blanks).

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#4

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 6:19 PM

The fire was in a hotel near the Burj Khalifa (which is the tallest building), but not in it.

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#5
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/27/2016 7:05 PM

I immediately noticed too. it still was the tallest inferno of the time

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#7

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 2:13 AM

I will sugest that that is a false excuse. A short circiut will trip the protection CB even if it was overrated by double. The braker will still trip in a shorter time than needed to start a fire. What can start a fire is a lose connection that will arc over a long period and create temperature that can start a fire by igniting the wire coating after a period when the anti flaming additives was rendered incapable and permeated out of the coating by longterm heat that over a period of weeks happened every night when that light came on. The connection to the light must have been in close vicinity to the outside of the building as the is norm for instalation.

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#8
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 4:20 AM

I totally agree with you re; breaker. But as we all know the building was completed by the cheapest contractor, who made a profit and did so by cutting corners and using the cheapest materials. So what else is new?

However, the smell of the PVC or XLPE insulation would have been noticed by someone. Why did no one notice or report an odour of burning to the hotel staff. And why did the fire detection system not pick up he smoke that was produced.

Even with an arc being produce the earth leakage unit, (RCD for all others) would have detected the imbalance and tripped. However, does anyone actually know what the electrical system comprised or have we all made a conjecture?

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#17
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/29/2016 5:42 AM

This arc is in the circuit not to earth, it is a loose connection and the current in Life and Neutral circuit will be the same and the Earth Leakage unit will not detect it. All that we know is that it was a short in a high wattage outside spotlight and the OP's Question was do we think this finding is valid. I* maintain that the word "SHORT" is used out of electrical context.

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#9
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 8:42 AM

It may be a false excuse, but I will disagree with you about the rest. I have watched NM-B (romex) smolder without tripping the breaker. If there was a compromised lamp cord (18 gauge) on a 20A breaker, it could easily ignite a piece of fabric without tripping an overcurrent protective device. The building itself should not have burned. Sprinklers, fire resistant construction (including curtains!), etc. should have prevented that.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 12:48 PM

Report

says was cable for exterior lighting, odor would not have been noticed and interior alarm did not trip.

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#14
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 4:26 PM

What I said was a short as they maintain will trip even a double rated protection device and the trip will be faster than the time to ignite the NM-B or make it smolder. The connection from the installed ducted wiring for an outside light will be on the outside of the building and smell and smoke would not reach the inside. The fire was started by the outside cladding as I understood it that melted and shattered the window glass and the building acted like a chimney drawing the fire into the building.and that could only be from the heat of an arching connection.

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#10

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 9:43 AM

I'm still trying to get by the exterior of a high-rise building being flammable....

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#11
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 12:07 PM

Can you say CHEAP flammable foam core panels?

Fire retardant materials are expensive and hazardous.

Why bother with flame "proof" panels if they are not required or if inspectors can be purchased that will pass the ones that burn.

One story I read said the panels were tested by attaching them to 5/8" drywall panels and exposing them to an oven. At the end of the test, the drywall was still there, so they passed the test. Oh, the aluminum panels were burned away, but

anyway

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#18
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/29/2016 7:55 PM

That's why the signs say NO SMOKING NEAR BUILDING. Never mind entrances.

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#13

Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 2:24 PM
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#15
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 5:38 PM

http://www.thenational.ae/business/property/most-dubai-towers-built-before-2012-have-non-fire-rated-exterior-panels
..."A Eurocon executive confirmed that a panel system of the same specification as the one used on the tower underwent a fire test known as ASTME 119 - a test method set by the American Society for Testing and Materials."...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AoGEbNYz0o

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#16
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Re: Cause of Fire in World's Tallest Building

01/28/2016 8:50 PM
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BruceFlorida (1); charsley99 (1); Fredski (1); IQ (1); jonaparker (2); lyn (3); old salt (2); Oomborrie (3); SolarEagle (3); Tornado (1)

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