Cladding to be removed from three Newham towerblocks after Grenfell fire
PUBLISHED: 16:43 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 07:29 29 June 2017
Cladding will be removed from council buildings in the wake of the Grenfell fire, although Newham Council stresses "there is no immediate risk to the safety of any of them that would lead to residents having to leave their homes".
The cladding on the tower in Kensington has been implicated in the devastating fire there last week, and triggered a close inspection of towerblocks across the country.
Last week, cladding believed to be similar to that on Grenfell Tower was collected from the Ferrier Point, Nicholls Point and Tanner Point buildings for expert safety tests.
It failed these tests over the weekend, but the council said they have confirmed that “the insulation material used in the cladding on [the blocks] block was of higher quality to that used at Grenfell Tower as it is made of Rockwool which offers more fire protection.”
However, “because overall the samples of cladding failed the test,” the council has hired a contractor who visited all three blocks today to assess how quickly it can be removed.
Whilst these tests were being conducted over the weekend, London Fire Brigade was inspecting the three buildings and made several suggestions to the council, including extra 24-hour security.
“This extra security will patrol the blocks every 20 minutes so they will be able to raise the alarm in the event of a fire,” the council explained.
Clutter, including some bicycles, has also been moved at the fire brigade’s suggestion.
The council said: “We have reassured the residents that these additional actions, along with safety measures that are already in place, including smoke alarms in every flat and high quality fire doors, means there is no immediate risk to safety and no need for people to leave their homes, unless otherwise notified.”
They added that essential fire safety work will begin immediately and more upgrades will take place over the next few weeks, as well as measures to address other issues in the blocks, “including vandalism, rough sleeping and issues such as smoking in stairwells and corridors”.