Following on from the recent fire safety update of 27th June, Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) began the removal of cladding at its Marwood Towers block on Wednesday 28th June.
Since then, the Government-appointed Independent Expert Advisory Panel has reviewed nationwide cladding testing arrangements and has recommended a number of additional safety tests looking at the fire resistance of the full external wall façade system, not just the cladding.
This will involve testing several external wall façade systems, one of which will be comparable to the type in place at Marwood Towers.
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) will test the non-combustible insulation, fire stops and cladding materials together on these test walls, to confirm the system’s overall performance in the unlikely event of a fire. They will test wall systems to see if they comply with Government standards, known as BR135. This testing is likely to take several weeks.
Marwood Towers’ cladding manufacturer commissioned such a test in November 2016 via the BRE. This showed that the system complied with BR135.
LMH is also directly commissioning an independent assessment of the fire safety standards of the external wall façade system at Marwood Towers. This is recommended by the Government in its latest advice and will give an accurate opinion from a fire safety specialist about the quality of the system in place at Marwood Towers
Against that background, LMH has taken the decision to suspend the removal of the cladding pending the outcome from the Government’s additional tests and our own independent assessment of Marwood Towers.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are aware of our intended approach and they are satisfied that it is in line with the latest Government guidance which was issued on 30th June 2017.
Fire safety measures in place at Marwood Towers include sprinkler and central alarm systems along with smoke and heat detectors, automatic closing fire doors and fire stops. These arrangements, together with the continuing presence of our 24/7 onsite fire inspection staff, provide assurance that fire risk at the block remains very low.
Customer safety and peace of mind is our highest priority, and this decision has been taken following a full consideration of the circumstances.
A letter was hand-delivered to all tenants at Marwood Towers yesterday afternoon and consultation meetings will take place later this week to answer any questions residents may have.