Urgent message from Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government.
“Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington last week, DCLG want to ensure you are aware of help that is available in checking your buildings.
While the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined, DCLG have concluded that there are additional tests that can be undertaken to the cladding. They have asked local authorities and social housing providers to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment of their own housing stock are a particular type of cladding made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). DCLG are asking the managers/owners of private buildings to do the same.
The procedures for taking up this offer of testing, which will be paid for by DCLG, are set out in the attached documents. They are prioritising buildings over six storeys or 18 metres high. The offer is for the initial testing only and the cost of any remedial action will be the responsibility of the owner of the building. A form is included for those wishing to make use of the checks DCLG are offering.
It goes without saying that owners/landlords have robust fire assessments for their properties. It is likely that many of these assessments do not consider the type of cladding used in a building and we would recommend you look again at your assessments.”