Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

UK: All samples from high-rise towers fail fire safety tests

UK: All samples from high-rise towers fail fire safety tests UK: All samples from high-rise towers fail fire safety tests
Lillian Steele | 26 June, 2017, 02:10

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the failed tests as a "nationwide threat" as he urged the Prime Minister to convene the Government's emergency committee to provide a "national response".

The tower blocks have not been evacuated while the work takes place.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said on Saturday night: "A failure in testing of the cladding does not necessarily mean that a building will have to be evacuated. You can't play Russian roulette with people's safety", Khan told Sky News.

Camden council representatives help residents as they are evacuated from the Taplow residential tower block on the Chalcots Estate, in the borough of Camden, north London, Friday, June 23, 2017.

Evacuated residents faced chaos, with temporary accommodation offered in a local leisure centre and hotels, but some refused to move. Many were directed to inflatable beds laid out on the floor of the local sports hall.

The local authority's leader Georgia Gould said her staff would continue to knock on residents' doors and issue more letters to those who remain, telling them they "must leave" on Sunday morning.

"By remaining in the blocks, these residents risk delaying the work that is required and that we are undertaking to make these homes safe", the statement said.

"We are told they can do 100 a day - that should be the number they are meeting", he said.

Residents complained of first hearing about the evacuation from the media and getting very short notice to leave from city officials going door-to-door. Look, you've got to err on the side of caution.

It is up to each local authority to decide whether to evacuate residents from blocks which have failed fire tests, a spokesman for the communities and local government told AFP.

According to the Independent, witnesses at the scene of the 24-storey fire on June14 said a resident told neighbours his fridge had "exploded" while alerting them to the initial blaze, which spread rapidly through the block.

My thoughts are with all those residents affected by the evacuation of tower blocks in Camden.

Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests.

Earlier it was reported that 27 buildings had failed the safety test.

It could take two to four weeks for the four blocks to be made safe, the council said, and Ms Gould added that almost 200 offers of accommodation have been made to displaced residents, most of which have been accepted.

"The review meeting discussed the safety implications of the cladding and reviewed the fire risk assessments for all the blocks in question".

The fire has become a flashpoint for public anger at the record of May's Conservative Party in government following cuts to local authority budgets created to lower the national deficit.

Test results are being sent to local landlords and fire services, with councils to decide on what course of action is needed and to inform residents.

The apartments were evacuated overnight after fire inspectors concluded that the buildings were unsafe because of problematic fire doors, gas pipe insulation, and external cladding similar to that blamed for the rapid spread of a fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower on June 14.

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