Hous­ing bosses act over Gren­fell fears

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

The cladding used on the Gren­fell Tower block in London has not been used on flats in Ruther­glen or Cam­bus­lang, early in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gest.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and West Whit­law­burn Hous­ing Co­op­er­a­tive (WWHC) say there is no ev­i­dence to sug­gest the Gren­fell Tower cladding has been used on any of their high-rise flats.

Both so­cial land­lords spoke out this week af­ter it was sug­gested the cladding on Gren­fell Tower caused the fire to ac­cel­er­ate at a rapid speed.

The blaze, which broke out just be­fore 1am last Wed­nes­day, en­gulfed all 24 floors and 120 flats within min­utes.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil moved to re­as­sure ten­ants in high rises such as Sherry Heights, Rose­bank Tower and Sand­ford Tower that they are safe.

Daniel Lowe, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of hous­ing and tech­ni­cal re­sources at the coun­cil, said: “The coun­cil is cur­rently car­ry­ing out a re­view of cladding to high-rise res­i­den­tial blocks.

“How­ever, early in­di­ca­tions are that no blocks con­tain the same type of cladding utilised at Gren­fell Tower, London.”

WWHC has al­ready com­pleted a full multi-storey flat fire safety re­view at its six tow­ers: Ar­ran, Ailsa, Ben­more, Bute, Kin­tore and Roslin.

Paul Far­rell, di­rec­tor of the co­op­er­a­tive, said: “The WWHC cladding sys­tems were in­stalled over 10 years ago and were fully com­pli­ant with build­ing reg­u­la­tions and plan­ning re­quire­ments from the lo­cal author­ity.

“It ap­pears there is early fo­cus on the cladding sys­tem in the London tragedy, although it is far too early in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be cer­tain of the role of the cladding.

“How­ever, our early anal­y­sis and un­der­stand­ing is that there are con­sid­er­able and sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in the cladding sys­tem used in the London block com­pared to the WWHC sys­tem and this has been con­firmed by our in­stall­ers.

“In­ci­dents of se­vere fire have oc­curred in build­ings fit­ted with our sys­tem and the sys­tem has met the fire per­for­mance re­quire­ments in all re­spects. The fire has not prop­a­gated and has been fully and suc­cess­fully con­tained.”

Around 900 smoke alarms are fit­ted in WWHC’s six high­rise blocks, in­clud­ing two in each of the 432 flats. The alarms are hard-wired and have a bat­tery back-up in case of a power fail­ure.

The alarms, which send a sig­nal back to the central concierge sta­tion, are checked ev­ery year.

Mr Far­rell added: “We re­cently had a com­pre­hen­sive in­de­pen­dent multi-storey fire risk as­sess­ment con­ducted by spe­cial­ist con­sul­tants, which re­ported very pos­i­tively on the WWHC po­si­tion.

“Ten­ant safety is paramount and we will con­tinue to act with that in mind and we will con­sider all rec­om­men­da­tions fol­low­ing the pub­lic en­quiry.”

Whit­law­burn Cladding on the flats was re­placed 10 years ago

Night­mare Dozens of peo­ple died in Gren­fell Tower

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