Company curbs sale of panels used on burned London high-rise

Nick Sanchez
June 27, 2017

Safety checks were continuing on the cladding on high-rise buildings across the country.

Every single residential block that has now been tested has failed safety tests. A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: "Following the bad events at Grenfell Tower, we are undertaking a range of work with partners to ensure the fire prevention procedures that are in place at council tower blocks continue to be extremely robust".

The fire began as a refrigerator fire in an apartment on the fourth floor of the building.

The tower's cladding - panels widely used to insulate buildings and improve their appearance - was believed to have rapidly spread that blaze, which killed at least 79 people.

Workers remove cladding from the Whitebeam Court tower block in Salford, north west England on June 26, 2017.

In 2005, Parliament passed the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, which shifted the burden for fire safety inspection from the government to business and property owners.

Bibiche Kiala, 35, a resident of Dorney, another of the towers, said that the sudden order to evacuate had left many residents shaken and upset, including those with children. One, Park Heights in Stockwell, was built previous year and won a prestigious design award from The Royal Institute of British Architects.

Following the Grenfell fire, the British government is carrying out tests on hundreds of high-rise buildings covered in cladding.

The apartments were evacuated after fire inspectors concluded that the buildings were unsafe because of problematic fire doors, gas pipe insulation, and external cladding similar to that blamed for the rapid spread of a fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower on June 14.

She said that the tests carried out as part of the investigation were "small scale", but "what we are being told at the moment by the Building Research Establishment is that the cladding and insulation failed all safety tests".

'I'm concerned at the speed at which samples are being submitted.

The council has no plans to fit external cladding on any new council residential buildings now in development.

Refurbishment of the Chalcots towers was overseen by Rydon, the same company involved in the recent renovation of the now-devastated Grenfell Tower.

Mr Javid also urged private tower block landlords to "consider" submitting samples for testing and expressed frustration at the slow response of councils and housing associations, as more than 500 tower blocks suspected of being a risk are still yet to be tested.

US -based Arconic cited "inconsistencies in building codes around the world" for stopping the sales.

Schools and hospitals will also be tested to make sure their cladding is not combustible, Downing Street said earlier.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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