Stripping buildings of their cladding 'is actually increasing the risk of fire'
17 Juillet, 2017, 20:15 | Author: Claudine Rigal
Following the tragic Grenfell fire on 14 June, Shetland News asked the council if the same cladding had been used in any of its public buildings and the response received was "no".
Since the fire, both the Celotex insulation and the Reynobond PE aluminium cladding have been withdrawn from sale - both of which were less expensive compared with non-combustible alternatives. So far, 233 residential towers have failed combustibility tests as regulators and communities attempt to ensure that a similar situation doesn't occur.
However, the government has now warned landlords that doing so could increase the risk of a massive blaze - as combustible insulation is being left exposed for weeks on end.
The Guardian recently reported that insulation which is more combustible than that used in Grenfell Tower has been left exposed for nearly three weeks on at least six blocks on the Pendleton estate in Salford.
Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor at Hindwoods and a fire safety expert, said: "It is definitely a fire risk now when it might not have been in the past".
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'Exposed insulation on the exterior of a building is not safe because of the risk of the fire spreading over the surface, ' he said. They left exposed swathes of synthetic phenolic insulation which is rated either B or C for reaction to fire in British Standard tests, which means they are combustible.
This has occurred in numerous communities around the United Kingdom, and some have complained about unclear guidelines coming from the government.
In its latest guidance, the government is now saying that "where sample panels are removed, they should be replaced immediately with a suitable material" in order to comply with fire safety regulations. In some situations, replacement cladding is scheduled to be added soon.
"Now it is exposed, you only need some idiot after a night on the drink to conduct their own fire test and the whole block goes up".
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