Free cladding testing for owners of high rise flats

Article dated Tuesday Jun 27, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Owners, landlords and managers of private residential blocks of flats have been encouraged to get free cladding sample checks from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Bradford Council and other authorities across England are being asked to spread the word that these free tests are available for privately owned blocks with Aluminium Composite Material. The free offer is for testing only and will prioritise buildings over six storeys or 18 metres high.

The DCLG has sent a letter out to local authorities to share with all private sector housing providers (PDF)

This gives guidance on how to take a sample and where to send it for testing.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council, said: “This testing is vital for all high rise buildings which have this kind of cladding. We have seen what can happen with this potentially dangerous material and need to do everything in our power to prevent it ever happening again. I would urge all owners of such buildings to take advantage of this offer from the DCLG.”

All sample tests where the material has failed are notified to the relevant local authority and fire authority by DCLG. This way a picture can be built up of which buildings are at risk and what remains to be tested.

Bradford Council itself does not own any high rise buildings, but its Building Control department is checking its records of all buildings over 18m high, prioritising residential buildings. It is also reviewing all school buildings and liaising with companies who have been involved in the building of new schools in the district.

Anyone who has concerns about the safety of their building must take this up with the Responsible Person for the premises which is likely to be the managing agent or landlord. If residents have concerns about their own safety within their flat, then they can request a visit from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service using the normal channels (hotline – 0800 587 4536 and webpage).

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