Company Curbs Sale of Panels Used on Burned London High-rise

Erica Roy
June 27, 2017

"If the cladding can not resist the spread of flame across the surface, then it will vertically envelop the building", a fire safety adviser to the firefighters' union told Parliament before the Grenfell Tower fire.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid says the figure recognizes that small charities and not-for-profit organizations are making big efforts following the fire that killed at leads 79.

"The estimate by Camden Council itself is they need at least 1,000 fire doors because they were missing from those five blocks. Our product is one component in the overall cladding system; we don't control the overall system or its compliance", said the company.

Theresa May today chaired a meeting of the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce as more at-risk buildings were identified across the country.

In the case of the Chalcots estate in Camden, about 650 flats were evacuated on Friday night after the fire department said the combination of combustible cladding - made up of aluminum panels with a polyethylene core - and concerns about insulation around gas pipes made the building unsafe to inhabit.

Workers remove cladding from the Whitebeam Court tower block in Salford, north west England on June 26, 2017.

Councils in Liverpool, London and Plymouth have ordered the removal of panels following the tests and follow-up inspections by fire experts. That's up from 60 failures out of 60 on Sunday - with hundreds more towers yet to be examined. One, Park Heights in Stockwell, was built a year ago and won a prestigious design award from The Royal Institute of British Architects.

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Rydon Maintenance Limited - which completed a partial refurbishment of Grenfell Tower in the summer of 2016 for Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation - said it met all the required building regulations as well as fire regulation and health & safety standards.

It adds: "flames become confined or restricted by entering cavities within the external cladding system, they will become elongated as they seek oxygen and fuel to support the combustion process".

Javid told MPs he was concerned that landlords were not submitting samples for testing fast enough and urged them to send them quicker.

Arconic stressed in a statement that its panels were just part of the cladding system and that it did not supply the insulation.

USA -based Arconic cited "inconsistencies in building codes around the world" for stopping the sales.

For the cash-strapped local councils that manage the public housing buildings - and for the tens of thousands of residents who live in them - the dismal test results have brought an agonizing choice: evacuate without a plan for where people should go next, or allow them to stay and risk another Grenfell.

The council has no plans to fit external cladding on any new council residential buildings now in development.

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