Wrightstyle has been supplying fire-rated systems for redevelopment work being carried out on the well-known King’s Cross Station and surrounding projects. Wrightstyle is the leading steel and aluminium advanced glazing company in the UK and has worked on a wide range of high profile projects. While supplying the systems for this redevelopment, the Managing Director of Wrightstyle, Tim Kemppster reflects on the events of thirty years ago.
While carrying out the fire-rated work on King’s Cross the 30-year anniversary of the King’s Cross Fire has been marked. With the recent Grenfell Tower Disaster, it has been critiqued that significant changes to safety regulations only occur after an appalling tragedy. This codifying by disaster will happen after the events at Grenfell this summer and happened thirty years ago at King’s Cross. A fire in an elevator shaft at the Station claimed the lives of 31 people and led to the advance of groundbreaking computer modelling and fire simulation as well as the promotion of a new theory regarding the dynamics and behaviour of a fire in an inclined shaft.
The King’s Cross fire has helped to inform fire training, the replacement of all wooden escalators on the underground and the installation of automatic sprinklers as well as heat detectors. There is also mandatory fire safety training for all station staff. Companies such as Wrightstyle have also become more involved, with the complex transportation projects as well as the designing of the steel and glazing systems that would mitigate against the threats that are caused by fire.
Wrightstyle, when supplying glazed components to the frontage of the new King’s Cross had to ensure a safe evacuation route from the main administrative areas. The company have supplied the expertise they have developed from other UK transport infrastructure projects. This knowledge has been used for the advice to specify the glass and steel components as one integrated and tested assembly.