Councils across Britain have been ordered to send samples of cladding on the outside of tower blocks so they can undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are safe following the fire at Grenfell Tower.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has written to local authorities telling them they must check materials used on the outside of their high-rises urgently.
Councils with properties more than 59ft (18m) high with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding must supply samples of the panels to DCLG for fire safety tests to establish whether the material in their core is combustible. The first testing is expected to begin on Tuesday.
DCLG permanent secretary Melanie Dawes said the government wanted to address public concern about ‘potential flaws’ in the cladding on Grenfell Tower.
“While the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined, we have concluded that there are additional tests that can be undertaken with regard to the cladding,” she said.
“We are therefore asking local authorities and other registered providers of social housing to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding made of ACM.”