More towers fail cladding fire test

More tower blocks have failed the BRE’s cladding fire test, being undertaken in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, bringing the national total to 181, with more being identified in West London.

In Barnet cladding on three towers in Granville Road is to be removed despite the council saying it is non-combustible and has fire stops installed.

In Brent seven buildings  have failed including Octavia Housing’s Elizabeth House, which has sprinklers, and is not considered a risk by Brent Council or the fire brigade.

In Ealing one unidentified block has failed the test, and in Hammersmith and Fulham, the council is having further tests carried out on cladding at Shepherd’s Court, where a fire broke out last year.

Four other buildings in Hammersmith & Fulham have failed fire safety tests.

In Hounslow cladding is being removed from Clements Court tower in Cranford. Council Leader Steve Curran said: “We have yet to receive the final report of the two fire audits of Clements Court that were carried out (on 23 June).

“The assessments concluded that Clements Court cannot be fully compliant with fire safety standards because the external “Aluminium Composite Materials” [ACM] panels are not considered to be compliant.

“A number of deficiencies were identified that should be addressed as soon as possible.”

“The seals of some fire doors due to age and wear and tear are defective. Many of these doors have been removed and replaced with ordinary doors (mainly by leaseholders). We have agreed that all residents’ front doors should be replaced with modern and up-to-date fire doors, which close automatically and offer at least 30 minutes protection in the event of a fire”.

There will also be a review of emergency exit and fire safety information signs, continued fire watch patrols, and a new Fire Risk Assessment.

Cllr Curran continued: “We have begun to remove the outer ACM panels at Clements Court. We expect the removal to be completed within the next 2-3 weeks.

“In the meantime, we are also working to quickly design a replacement system of new, non-combustible solid aluminium panels. We will be speaking to residents further to discuss this second stage of the process, including the materials to be used and their safety.”

In Slough one unidentified block has failed the fire safety test.

In Wandsworth two buildings have failed the test, Castlemaine Tower  and Sudbury House, and will have their cladding removed.

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