Latest government fire safety testing completed

Latest government fire safety testing completed

THE SIXTH of seven cladding tests undertaken by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has been completed, with the last tests to take place soon.

News of the sixth test’s completion and its results being published was shared by the government, which noted that the fire safety test looked at ‘cladding and insulation combinations’. The ‘large scale’ tests will allow expert researchers to ‘better understand how different types of cladding panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire’, with the first five test rounds’ results already published.

This fifth test looked at wall cladding made up of aluminium composite material (ACM) with a fire retardant polyethylene filler and phenolic foam insulation, with these latest findings – according to the expert panel convened – found that the ‘combination of materials used in the test does not meet current Building Regulations guidance’. 22 buildings were identified over 18 metres tall across England with this particular combination of cladding and insulation.

In turn, cladding samples from these buildings had ‘already failed earlier combustion tests’, with building owners sent government advice ‘detailing the immediate interim safety measures that needed to be completed’ alongside advice ‘setting out the actions they need to take to ensure the safety of residents going forward, and appropriate measures ‘have been put in place’ for all 22 buildings.

The government is also ‘working closely’ with these particular building owners ‘to ensure this advice is being followed’, with the expert panel having advised the government to undertake this test to ‘further build the evidence available for experts and building owners so they can make informed safety decisions’. Another final test will look at ACM with a ‘limited combustibility filler with mineral wool insulation’, with results of this test to be ‘published shortly’.