Cheap cladding fuelled Grenfell Tower inferno — Expect building code reviews — Warnings at Grenfell Tower ignored for at least 18 years

Urban Search and Rescue officers from London Fire Brigade inside the Grenfell Tower in west London

The New South Wales Government is considering tougher regulations on the use of combustible cladding in the wake of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state’s building safety measures were being reconsidered “with a sense of urgency” after reports cheap cladding used on the outside of the London tower block fuelled the inferno now believed to have killed nearly 60 people.

State Government documents have warned up to 2,500 buildings in NSW could be fitted with flammable cladding.

“We have been working very hard behind the scenes since the tragedy in London,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We are making sure there is no stone left unturned here in NSW.

“We’ve got our agencies working with a sense of urgency about this and as soon as we can we will bring forward any action we need to take.”

This week cabinet will consider setting up an interdepartmental taskforce to prevent risky building products from being used.

The NSW Master Builders Association said the danger came from imported products that do not meet safety requirements.

“It’s important to stop the tragedies that happen as we saw in London,” executive director Brian Seidler said.

“There has to be some form of border protection on products that come into Australia.

“If there’s some sort of task force that is established that assists in identifying non-conforming building products then we would have to support that.”

Ms Berejiklian said she also believed it was appropriate to have a discussion about national laws relating to regulations.

The burnt out shell of Grenfell Tower.

Topics: fires, states-and-territories, building-and-construction, residential, nsw, united-kingdom

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-18/nsw-to-investigate-building-safety-in-wake-of-london-fire/8628698

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See also:

Warnings over ‘deathtrap’ high-rise building cladding ‘ignored’ for decades

 A local residents holds a section of the burnt cladding which fell from Grenfell Tower during the blaze
A local residents holds a section of the burnt cladding which fell from Grenfell Tower during the blaze CREDIT: MARK THOMAS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Fire safety experts warned as long ago as 1999 that the cladding used on buildings such as Grenfell Tower posed a deadly threat to hundreds of residents inside, it has emerged.

The experts, from industry and the firefighters’ union, predicted that such cladding could help drive any fire upwards to quickly engulf an entire building.

In a chilling premonition of what would happen 18 years later at Grenfell Tower – where at least at least 58 people are now feared to have been killed – Fire Brigades Union official Glyn Evans told MPs: “The problem with cladding is that it will, if it is able, spread fire and it will spread it vertically. If you get multistorey buildings you will get fire spread up the outside if the cladding will permit it.”

After hearing evidence from Mr Evans and others, a House of Commons committee concluded in early 2000 that the authorities could not afford to wait before taking action to tackle the risk.

It’s report stated: “We do not believe that it should take a serious fire in which many people are killed before all reasonable steps are taken towards minimising the risks.”

Members of the emergency services work inside the charred remnains of Grenfell Tower 
Members of the emergency services work inside the charred remnains of Grenfell Tower  CREDIT: TOLGA AKMEN/ AFP

The report appears to have been one of several alarm bells rung over the safety of high rise buildings which went unheeded.

There now is a growing conviction among construction and fire experts that the cladding system fixed to Grenfell Tower to improve the energy efficiency and appearance of the building as part of a £8.6 million refurbishment helped spread the fire.

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/17/warnings-deathtrap-high-rise-building-cladding-ignored-decades/

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One Response to “Cheap cladding fuelled Grenfell Tower inferno — Expect building code reviews — Warnings at Grenfell Tower ignored for at least 18 years”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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