Company curbs sale of panels used on burned high-rise

Danny Woods
June 27, 2017

A five-year-old boy was identified by police on Tuesday (June 27) as the youngest victim so far of the fire which engulfed a London tower block two weeks ago, killing at least 79 people.

"Arconic is discontinuing global sales of Reynobond PE for use in high-rise applications", the New York City-based company said Monday.

The Green Party want the Government to extend its fire safety audits, after it says cladding used in Cork County Hall is the same as that used in London's Grenfell Tower.

Since the fire, cladding on 60 high-rise buildings nationwide has been tested for fire safety - and all have failed.

The Association of British Insurers said on Sunday it had warned in May that combustible external cladding on high rises could cause fire to spread and that it has been calling on the United Kingdom government to review building fire safety regulations since 2009.Cladding panels are often added to the exterior of buildings to insulate them and, particularly in the case of ageing tower blocks, to improve their external appearance.

URGENT safety checks are being made to hundreds of buildings in Bradford in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London. Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid said samples from every building tested so far had failed.

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Arconic's announcement came as Britain's government announced that 75 buildings had failed cladding combustibility tests in 26 local authority areas.

"The facade, installed past year at Grenfell Tower, in panels known as cladding and sold as Reynobond PE, consisted of two sheets of aluminum that sandwich a combustible core of polyethylene".

Chief executive Geraldine Howley has written to those living in tower blocks, saying they use non-combustible "rock wool" cladding and not aluminium composite.

"Our tests will look at each aspect individually, as well as how they all worked together as part of the building's cladding", police said in a statement. The one block out of the 14 which does have cladding has a cementitious board cladding with a category zero fire rating, the safest category, but we will still submit a sample for testing even though we are not required to do so.

He also revealed the Government had pledged £1 million to boost the work done by charities to support those in need since the deadly blaze.

The LGA added: "Working with fire service experts to assess risks, a number of councils have already introduced other fire safety measures in buildings, such as 24 hour a day warden patrols, when advice from the fire service is clear that this will mitigate against fire risks ahead of the removal of cladding".

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