Stripping buildings of their cladding 'is actually increasing the risk of fire'

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 17, 2017

Since the fire, both the Celotex insulation and the Reynobond PE aluminium cladding have been withdrawn from sale - both of which were less expensive compared with non-combustible alternatives. Panicked landlords have begun removing the cladding from their own buildings, but according to experts, this is just making the situation more risky. So far, 233 residential towers have failed combustibility tests as regulators and communities attempt to ensure that a similar situation doesn't occur.

However, the government has now warned landlords that doing so could increase the risk of a massive blaze - as combustible insulation is being left exposed for weeks on end.

An investigation found insulation more combustible than that used on Grenfell Tower has been left exposed on six tower blocks in Salford, Gtr Mancs.

In addition, the web site reported that a second combustible insulation material from insulation provider Kingspan was used, but as part of a combination for which the manufacturer says it would never have recommended, had never been tested with polyethylene core aluminium panels and would be surprised if some a system would pass the British Standard 8414 large-scale test.

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Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Officials say that at times the smoke may cause throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

In addition fire expert Arnold Tarling has said the exposed insulation is "definitely a fire risk" as there is a chance a of the blaze spreading over the surface.

This has occurred in numerous communities around the United Kingdom, and some have complained about unclear guidelines coming from the government. But as one resident of the 22 story Thorne House put it, "now it is exposed, you only need some idiot after a night on the drink deciding to conduct their own fire test and the whole block goes up".

It said that "where sample panels are removed, they should be replaced immediately with a suitable material" in order to comply with safety regulations.

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