Last week I saw the comedian Jeremy Hardy talk for nearly two hours without a note and he was brilliant. Personal, political, sweary, angry and brilliant. What was not so brilliant was the venue, or at least the reason for the venue.

Last week I saw the comedian Jeremy Hardy talk for nearly two hours without a note and he was brilliant. Personal, political, sweary, angry and brilliant. What was not so brilliant was the venue, or at least the reason for the venue.

Hardy was supposed to perform in the grand hall of the much-loved Battersea Arts Centre and, although that building had recently re-opened after the recent disastrous fire, the grand hall was too badly wrecked. The alternative venue, a pub called the Four Thieves which had previously been Jongleurs, was fine but there was an underlying sadness - and there were collecting buckets.

Now, today, Construction Enquirer reports on a major fire at a Nottingham student residence. Again this happend while construction was taking place.

Why, you might ask, can't we stop these construction fires? Of course there is a lot that we can and should do to prevent them happening. This ranges from good housekeeping to moving as much work as possible off site and, wherever possible, avoiding risky procedures such as the use of hot bitumen. But all this will reduce the risk but never eliminate it.

We still have fires in completed buildings and those are subject to incredibly strict fire regulations (although also to the idiocy of their inhabitants). A building site will by definition never be as safe as a finished building because it is not .... finished.

We have to accept that some fires at least will still happen, and just be grateful when, as in these two cases, there was no loss of life.

 

 

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