Guidance following Grenfell Tower

There has been much public concern about the potential flaws in the cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower, however the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined.

As a precaution, we recommend if you have any cladding on your building you should identify whether any panels used are a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), and if this material meets the current building regulations standards. It is important to stress that ACM cladding is not itself dangerous, but it is important that the right type is used.

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The Government has also issued a guidance note to ensure safety in all relevant buildings covers the following areas:

  • Checking and testing ACM cladding
  • Action landlords should take
  • Further action underway
  • Methodology employed for the tests of ACM
  • Interim measures recommended by independent panel of experts

It is also important that you should have regard to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the implications of any cladding or materials used on the outside of a building may have on the building, its occupancy and emergency strategy. The risk assessment and significant findings should reflect the risks and control measures required to ensure that the premises is safe from fire.

Where technical advice is needed about structural separation, or if the fabric of the building, such advice should be obtained either from a Competent Fire Risk Assessor or Building Control and factored into the fire risk assessment. Fire safety advice can also be obtained from a Fire Safety Officer.

In addition to the above, we recommend that special attention should be made to:

  • Fire alarm and emergency lighting systems must be fully functional and maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standards
  • Escape routes are kept free from obstructions and hazards, well-lit, immediately usable at all relevant times and adequate for the number of people likely to use them
  • All fire-fighting facilities must be fully functional and maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standards
  • The emergency plan and evacuation strategy must be appropriate to your building and be supported by a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.  It is important that the emergency plan and evacuation strategy is publicised in your building (and reaffirmed), and that staff and tenants’ understand the plan.

If you require more information on emergency plans or evacuation strategies please visit our webpage Emergency Plan.