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Government published latest fire testing results

09 August 2017

THE THIRD in the government’s series of fire safety tests of cladding and insulation combinations has been completed by the BRE.

The latest test was of a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with a fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with PIR foam insulation. The government’s expert panel advises that the results show that the combination of materials used in the test does not meet current Building Regulations guidance.

There are up to 13 buildings over 18 metres tall in England known to have a combination of ACM with a fire retardant polyethylene filler with PIR foam insulation. Cladding samples from each of these buildings had already failed earlier combustibility tests conducted by Building Research Establishment (BRE) and their owners were sent government advice detailing the immediate interim safety measures that needed to be completed.

These latest test results provide building owners with further evidence about fire risks. The government has now provided these building owners with additional detailed advice setting out the actions they need to take to ensure the safety of residents. Government is working closely with these building owners to ensure this advice is being followed.

To further build the evidence available for experts and building owners so they can make informed safety decisions, government has commissioned a seventh large scale test – testing ACM with fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with phenolic foam insulation. Results of all remaining tests will be published when they are available.

The government announced the independent review of building regulations and fire safety on 28 July 2017. This review will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety as well as related compliance and enforcement issues.