10 Grenfell Tower patients remain in critical condition, image: metro.co.uk
On 28/7/17, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid announced a government independent review of building regulations and fire safety, following the Grenfell Tower fire which ripped through the 24 storey building in West London on June 14th killing at least 80 people.
The fire has raised questions about fire safety of high rise residential buildings and the governments testing of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from buildings across the country.
The Review will be lead by Dame Judith Hackitt and its brief will be the rules and fire safety laws with particular focus on high rises.
The cladding and installation used in at least 60 tower blocks have failed a new fire safety test, they are spread over 17 local authorities. Areas affected include the City of Manchester, Camden, Plymouth, Hounslow, Portsmouth, Barnet and Brent.
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is ‘running around the clock’ to test cladding on buildings. BRE can test 100 samples a day.
Four towers have been evacuated on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, North London. The decision to evacuate them was taken because a failed cladding test had been ‘compounded by multiple other fire safety failures’.
Cladding has been removed from two Portsmouth tower blocks after being found to be a fire risk. Although officials have insisted the buildings were safe for residents to stay in.
The Local Government Association said ‘for those areas still waiting for results of tests on ACM cladding our advice to them is to prepare contingency plans so they can take any measures needed quickly’.