Following our initial Fire Safety Update following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) carried out testing of the cladding at Marwood Towers on Friday 23rd June and sent two samples to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) for additional testing.
The cladding system at Marwood Towers uses ‘fire stops’ to seal any openings and joints, and prevent fire spread between the cladding panels together with the use of non-flammable insulation behind the cladding. This was checked to ensure the installation was carried out to required standards.
A team comprising LMH, contractor Willmott Dixon and a tenant representative oversaw testing. Four panels were removed from different locations. In all cases, ‘fire stops’ were found to be present, fitted correctly and in good order.
Results from the BRE were received today. They confirm that the cladding is Alucobond Plus, which is highly fire retardant, unlike that used at Grenfell Tower. However, LMH was shocked and disappointed to discover that the samples did not meet the new standards set by BRE.
LMH has, therefore, responded immediately to provide reassurance to our tenants.
This morning, LMH met Liverpool City Council’s Building Control and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service personnel to review the fire safety arrangements at Marwood Towers and agree an appropriate response.
As a precautionary measure, the cladding will be removed from the block, starting tomorrow, and we expect to begin a managed replacement programme as soon as is practicably possible. Fire marshals will be put in place and a fire safety audit is being carried out by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and LMH staff in individual flats to provide tenant with individual reassurance.
LMH had been assured that the cladding at Marwood Towers met all building regulations in place during the recent £8.5 million refurbishment programme and fire safety was at the forefront of this investment.
A variety of additional fire safety features were also installed, including sprinklers and heat and smoke sensors in homes and communal areas, together with fire doors with automatic closure mechanisms throughout, making this block amongst the safest in the country.
We would like to reassure residents that safety is our first priority and that the action being taken is to provide additional reassurance to tenants.