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Nine out of 10 towers fail post-Grenfell fire cladding safety tests

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Less than 10 per cent of high-rise social housing blocks fitted with cladding have been deemed as safe, the Department for Communities and Local Government has revealed.

Results from fire safety tests, carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, found that 165 of the 173 social housing buildings in England and Wales above 18m in height are unsafe.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) also conducted seven separate tests on different cladding systems, with only four of the systems found to comply with current Building Regulations.

In a statement to the House of Commons, communities secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘The owners of affected buildings have been given detailed advice drawn up by our independent expert advisory panel.

‘We have also been holding weekly update calls with local authorities, housing associations and other building owner groups.

‘We will shortly be meeting with local authorities and housing associations to discuss further steps. This will include the process by which we will ensure that remedial work is carried out.”

Javid said that the results of the BRE’s tests had been made available ‘to all private residental building owners’ as well as social landlords.

The communities secretary also admitted that issues identified on cladding systems had not been limited to fire safety, with some blocks in Glasgow found to be possibly unsafe in the event of high winds.

Grenfell©chirlajon

Grenfell©chirlajon

Questioned in the Commons on the extent of cladding issues in the private sector, the communities secretary said: ‘In the private sector, 89 buildings have been tested so far, of which 85 have failed [tests] and four have passed.

‘That is only 89, however; there are obviously thousands of private sector buildings, and that is why we have asked all local authorities to conduct an audit of properties in their area and to work with us on a process to enable us to monitor this situation.’ 

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