Following the Grenfell Tower fire, high rise flats are to be immediately checked for cladding. All UK local authorities and housing association tower blocks need to be checked to stop people from feeling fearful that the same thing could happen to them.
This property news comes as the Government has admitted that it will be some time before it is known why the fire spread so fast and whether cladding is to blame. The fire is said to have started in the kitchen of a flat, so huge investigations are under way. If other high rise flats do have cladding then they could potentially be at a huge risk of the same thing happening.
Every council and housing association has been ordered to make an urgent list of buildings that have the same type of aluminium cladding. This particular material is suspected of speeding up the Grenfell Tower fire in which at least 79 people, including whole families, died.
A spokesperson from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Melanie Dawes, said: “‘The Grenfell Tower police-led investigation is underway.
“We know that in the meantime there is significant anxiety amongst residents about whether their own blocks are safe.
“There has been much public concern and comment about potential flaws in the cladding that was on Grenfell Tower. While the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined, we have concluded that there are additional tests that can be undertaken with regard to the cladding.
“We are therefore asking local authorities and other registered providers of social housing to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).”
High rise flats are under scrutiny now – there will be huge consequences for those involved should cladding be found around these buildings. This incident is sure to be investigated over a very long period of time and rightly so – it has horrified people globally and answers need to be found.
The DCLG said that the Local Government Association’s Fire safety in purpose built blocks of flats remains the most comprehensive guidance on ensuring fire safety in these types of buildings.
After safety inspections come to a close, the DCLG have made it clear that they plan to work with housing associations and local authorities to support sufficient funding.
Written by Gemma Smith