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Sajid Javid asks hospitals and schools to carry out extra fire safety checks

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Communities secretary Sajid Javid has asked all hospitals and schools to carry out additional fire safety checks following the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday [26 June], Javid said that it was ‘obvious the problem of unsafe cladding may not be a problem unique to social housing or residential buildings’.

Every hospital has a ‘tailored fire safety plan’, Javid affirmed, but he added: ‘On a precautionary basis we have asked all hospitals to conduct additional checks.’

In addition, Javid said, the Education and Skills Funding Agency was contacting all bodies responsible for safety in schools, instructing them to carry out immediate checks ‘to identify any buildings which require further investigation’.

Across the wider government estate 15 buildings have so far been identified as ‘requiring further investigation’, he said. Further information about these will be released later in the week. 

Javid also confirmed that cladding from 75 high-rise buildings in 26 local authorities had failed fire safety tests conducted by the BRE on behalf of the government. 

A number of fire safety experts believe that the Reynobond aluminium composite rainscreen cladding with polyethylene core installed on Grenfell Tower was a factor in causing the fire to spread so quickly.

Meanwhile Arconic, which makes the aluminium composite material of the cladding system, said it was discontinuing global sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications’.

A spokesman said: ’’We believe this is the right decision because of the inconsistency of building codes across the world and issues that have arisen in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy regarding code compliance of cladding systems in the context of buildings’ overall designs.

’We will continue to fully support the authorities as they investigate this tragedy.’




Readers' comments (2)

  • Similar material is produced by other manufacturers, and I wonder how they are marketing their products?

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  • Geoff Williams

    There is a definite need to investigate electrical products used in hospitals. Cables are essential and are taken to every part of any building that could create fire spread. Cables are often under continuous electrical load. A major fire in a hospital would have devastating consequences for patients and staff. Enforcement of NHS fire codes appears to be taken by administrators, whose prime consideration is cost. I have witnessed, so called fire resisting cables, unfixed at access points, entering fire zone control points. In a real fire, these cables would fail prematurely and would burn. Furthermore, the number of false alarms in hospitals is growing and must be a huge cost burden, which tends to support poor workmanship. It is counter productive to the cost motive. Quality and product life span surely must be the essential considerations.

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