Every tower block checked so far fails fire tests

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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Sixty high-rise blocks of flats in 25 local authority areas have now failed fire cladding safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Chalcots Estate in North London where 3,000 residents were evacuated
Chalcots Estate in North London where 3,000 residents were evacuated

So far every sample of cladding from high-rise buildings that officials have tested has failed tests for combustibility, raising the prospect of many more mass tenant evacuations with hundreds of more buildings still to be checked.

The Building Research Establishment is working around the clock testing cladding samples from buildings around the country.

Local authority area and number of buildings failed
Barnet 3 Islington 1 Portsmouth 2
Brent 1 Lambeth 1 Stockton on Tees 3
Camden 5 Manchester 4 Sunderland 5
Doncaster 1 Norwich 1 Wandsworth 2
Hounslow 1 Plymouth 3 11 other areas 27
Total 25 areas – 60 failed buildings

As a results of the test findings Salford Council has given the go-ahead to start removing aluminium composite cladding on nine high rise blocks in the Pendleton area of the city.

Work began on Thorn Court on Sunday and the other blocks will follow.

Salford Pendleton

Communities secretary Sajiv Javid said it was very important for local authorities and housing associations to continue to submit such samples as a matter of urgency in the light of the results.

“We expect that authorities and landlords are very sensibly giving the highest priority to buildings with which they have most concern.

“But we should not be in the position where buildings have such cladding on them. How this occurred – and preventing this from happening again – is likely to be a key question for the public inquiry.”

The Government has also stressed that the failure in testing of the cladding would not necessarily mean that a building would have to be evacuated. Local authorities have been told to only consider evacuations where there is the most serious risk.

He said: “The decision by Camden Council to evacuate four of the five towers on the Chalcots Estate was because the failed testing of the external cladding was compounded by multiple other fire safety failures which the fire inspection team found within the buildings.

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