60 high-rise buildings fail safety tests so far after London fire

Posted June 29, 2017

Almost two weeks after a major fire destroyed a 24-storey block of flats in west London, the repercussions of what happened to the Grenfell Tower continue to be felt across the United Kingdom, and much farther afield.

The government has revealed a number of tower blocks are at risk after cladding failed fire safety tests.

The Government has said it is not identifying the other areas until residents have been notified, so as not to cause undue concern.

"Councils are also supporting social and other landlords in their area to help them in their work to ensure the safety of their residents when cladding on their buildings fail tests". She added that their occupants were guaranteed new homes on the same terms, within three weeks and as close to home as possible.

Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16.

One form of ACM, comprising two thin layers of aluminium sandwiched between a plastic polyurethane core, is suspected of having contributed to the rapid spread of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Plymouth Community Homes says it is removing the panels and security teams are monitoring the blocks 24/7.

"Camden Council has decided it will immediately begin preparing to remove these external cladding panels from the five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate".

This figure is thought to have risen to 60 high-rise buildings across 25 local authority areas. She added that "our first priority is people's safety".

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said the authority took the "extraordinary action" to clear 600 flats because "we are really clear that those four blocks are not safe". "We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower". NPR's Frank Langfitt has confirmed that the cladding had a combustible polyethylene core rather than a more fire-resistant mineral core.

So far, some 60 blocks have failed safety tests, while there are another 540 to be assessed. That is because they've adopted the International Building Code, which requires cladding for tall buildings to pass a rigorous test developed by the National Fire Protection Association called "NFPA 285".

"We will monitor the investigation into the London fire and take any learning necessary from it".

An inspection showed four of the five Chalcots Estate towers in Camden were at risk over cladding, fire doors, gas pipes and insulation, prompting a chaotic evacuation with temporary accommodation offered in a local leisure centre and hotels.

"All parts of the United Kingdom must learn from the disaster at Grenfell Tower and we must do all we can to ensure no-one has to experience the loss of a loved one in such tragic circumstances".

"People have had to decide, you know, in a few minutes you know, all their possessions, what to do with them, what they might need, I don't know, for an indefinite period of time", said a woman.

He said: "The buildings are safe to stay in with all of the existing safety measures still in place".