Grenfell: The Perfect Formula for Tragedy

  • Christopher J. Wieczorek, Ph.D. Vice President and Manager of International Codes and Standards , FM Global

Highly Combustible Construction + Lack of Automatic Fire Sprinklers = Tragic Catastrophic Loss

Grenfell Tower, the 24-story apartment tower located in West London (U.K.) was one of three towers in the world to experience a major fire in 2017. Unfortunately, Grenfell Tower was built with this formula for tragedy—and 80 people lost their lives.

The Torch Tower in Dubai (United Arab Emerites) and Marco Polo Apartments in Honolulu, (Hawaii, USA), also caught fire but lacked part of this tragic equation. The Torch was armed with automatic fire sprinklers and Marco Polo Apartments was built with a noncombustible exterior.

"Towers aren't something FM Global insures," explains Christopher Wieczorek, vice president and manager of international codes and standards at FM Global. "But since fires capture media headlines rather than sprinklered and noncombustible construction, we needed to share what we know and have been studying and talking about for years. These losses were preventable."

A new eight-page white paper, Grenfell: The Perfect Formula for Tragedy, authored by Wieczorek, takes a close look at the factors that led to the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London and the two fires in high-rise buildings in Dubai and Honolulu.

Download the Grenfell: The Perfect Formula for Tragedy white paper


About FM Global's International Codes and Standards
The International Codes and Standards Group, like all at FM Global, is in it for the long term. As our current and future clients establish themselves in emerging markets, the building codes and standards they encounter could have an adverse effect on their risk profile. Our job is to influence and elevate those standards wherever necessary to help our policyholders build or maintain a strong risk profile. In this way, we contribute to the long-term value that FM Global, as a mutual company, offers its clients.

Download the FM Global International Codes and Standards 2016 Report.