News - Construction News

Government continues fire safety testing programme

Following the recent disaster at Grenfell tower, the government’s series of fire safety tests has been continuing, with the second test recently completed.

Running through a series of combinations in cladding and insulation, the latest test was of a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with polyethylene filler (category 3) with stone wool insulation.

Results have prompted the government’s expert panel to advise that the results show this combination does not meet current building regulation guidance.

The findings must prompt immediate action, with 111 buildings currently known to have this combination of materials in their wall cladding systems – 90 of which are local authority or housing association owned or managed.

The BRE has already conducted tests on cladding samples from all these buildings, all of which failed the combustibility tests. Building owners were advised to take immediate action by implementing interim safety measures and working with their local fire and rescue service to complete a fire safety audit.

The latest set of test results reinforces the evidence already provided to these building owners about fire risks.

For the safety of residents detailed advice has been issued to building owners, and the government is urging affected owners to ensure the advice is being followed.

Last week the government announced the independent review of building regulations and fire safety. It will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety as well as related compliance and enforcement issues.

The government’s fire testing programme continues and further test results will be published when they are available.


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