News

Australia’s new fire safety plan after Grenfell

10 August 2017

The government of New South Wales has implemented a 10-point fire safety plan in the wake of the Grenfell tower conflagration in June.

According to ABC Australia, more than 1,000 buildings have been identified by the NSW government as having potentially dangerous cladding.

The scheme aims to ensure unsafe building products are taken off the shelves, buildings with cladding are identified and that only people with the right skills and experience are able to certify buildings and sign off on fire safety.

The plan includes:

Matt Kean, the minister for better regulation, said: “This package will protect consumers from building products that are inherently dangerous or that are being advertised for use in a way that makes them dangerous.”

Read more about NSW fire safety here.

Image: ChiralJon/Wikipedia

Comments

Why are they concentrating on aluminium cladding which does not burn. It is only plastic cladding and the wrong insulation that burns, surely???

Roger Oakes, 10 August 2017

The discussion I had yesterday with a QS on the issue of fire safety and materials, was along the lines of 'where does it say in the Regs that product x cannot be used', and, if we change the specification so that certain products (that give off toxic smoke in a fire) aren't used, where do we stop?

I can well imagine the same was said at Grenfell, with its nominal Class 0 cladding, and its tested Celotex insulation.

That kind of attitude is troubling, as ultimately it seems to me people like QS's are the ones advising the clients and making the call, but in the process having little to no accountability for the outcome, as they aren't the designers who have the responsibility if something goes wrong.

Charles, 11 August 2017

Any kind of cladding needs to be considered. It is possible to have cladding with BS EN 13501-1 European Class A1 or A2 cores with SURFACE SPREAD OF FLAME ratings to facing materials lower than the European Class B and C allowed by the English and Welsh Building Regulations. Diagram 40 in Paragraph 12.6 may also allow the converse. Facing materials that achieve the European Class B and C, but have combustible cores of European Class D. In the case of Grenfell Tower the cladding material was certified as compliant with the Approved Document Part B Volume 2 for its surface, which ignores the fact that the core could be combustible. So watch our for laminated cladding products that combine finishes and facings with cores.

Ian Abley, 11 August 2017

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