Glasgow Tower Block Watched 24/7 Over Grenfell-Style Cladding

October 12, 2017 11:55, Last Updated: October 16, 2017 10:05
By Simon Veazey, Epoch Times

A Glasgow tower block is being checked by firefighters every four hours due to concerns over Grenfell-style flammable cladding.

The potential danger was only brought to light last week, four months after the fire in London that claimed 80 lives and gutted the 24-storey building.

Two tower blocks at Castlebank Drive are being monitored around the clock, after it was discovered that their cladding was made of the same material as the Grenfell tower, according to the Daily Record.

The Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 80 people in London, is thought to have spread through a specific cladding system, which acted as a wick, spreading the fire upward through the building.

After concerns were raised about the cladding, authorities scrambled to check hundreds of similar tower blocks around the country, which used aluminium composite material (ACM). The cladding was stripped from many buildings, as many samples failed to meet combustibility tests.

A workman throws a panel of external cladding from the facade of Braithwaite House into a skip in London, on July 3, 2017, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

However, it was only last week that the local council informed hundreds of residents of the Harbour Development in Glasgow that their homes used limited ACM and that the owners of the property should seek “specialist fire advice.”

Contractors for the council took samples for testing last week and one resident was informed that the property has been identified as high risk, according to the Record.

“The cladding in my block and one other has no fire resistance at all,” the unnamed resident told the Record.

“We now have two 24-hour fire wardens, four-hourly visits from fire brigade and a huge amount of parking attendants ensuring that access is clear.”

According to an investigation by the BBC, the cladding used on the Grenfell Tower released 14 times more heat than regulations allow.

The cladding in the tower burned with the same energy as 51 tonnes of pinewood according to research from the University of Leeds. The plastic core of the cladding would have burned as “quickly as petrol”, a Dr. Roth Phylaktou, an expert in fire investigation at the university, told the BBC.

Workers remove panels of external cladding from the facade of Braithwaite House in London, on July 3, 2017, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

Cladding has been ripped down from towers across the country, including Plymouth, Manchester, Liverpool, and Portsmouth.

Ryhl High School in Denbighshire was closed when cladding was identified as being made by the same company who produced that used on the Grenfell block.

An independent public inquiry was launched on 15 August, one month after the Grenfell fire. The inquiry will try to establish the cause of the fire, and how it was able to spread, in addition to examining the role of fire regulations and safety standards.