Grenfell Tower cladding that allowed deadly spread of fire has FINALLY been banned 5 years after the fire

The new rules announced last night will only apply to future developments, not to existing buildings or those under construction

The Grenfell Tower fire claimed the lives of 72 people
The Grenfell Tower fire claimed the lives of 72 people

The specific type of cladding on Grenfell Tower that allowed the deadly fire to spread quickly was banned five years after the tragedy, the government said.

Fire safety guidance released on Wednesday means metal composite panels with an unmodified polyethylene core, known as MCM PE, will be banned for all new buildings of any height in England.

The cladding was used on the outside of Grenfell Tower, which caught fire in June 2017, killing 72 people. So far, a ban on MCM PE only applied to buildings with a height of more than 11 m.

The government will also limit the types of cladding materials used on buildings between 11m and 18m in height to discourage their construction with combustible materials.

Housing Secretary Lord Greenhalgh said: “We have introduced the biggest improvements in building safety in a generation as part of the Building Safety Act.

“These changes will support our tough new regulatory regime – to ensure fire safety measures are built into new high-rise buildings and all new residential buildings meet the same safety standards.

“It doesn’t end here and I urge the industry to act quickly to adapt their practices to these new rules.”

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Under measures announced by the Department of Leveling Up, Housing and Communities, all new dwellings over 11m in height must be fitted with a secure information box, allowing firefighters access to vital details about a building in the event of a fire.

New housing developments over 60 feet (18 m) must also include an evacuation alert system to help firefighters notify residents of a change in evacuation strategy during an incident.

The scope of the ban on the use of combustible materials in buildings higher than 18 m has also been extended to hospitals, hotels and boarding schools.

National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) Protection and Business Safety Committee Chair Gavin Tomlinson said: “NFCC particularly welcomes the introduction of emergency evacuation warning systems in new buildings over 18m.

“We also support the installation of secure information boxes in buildings over 11m high, giving fire and rescue services access to important details about a building and its occupants in the event of a fire.

“Regarding the changes in building regulations, we are encouraged that unsafe MCM PE cladding panels are banned on all buildings and that the government has promised stricter safety standards for the use of combustible materials on exterior walls.”

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