As the shocking scenes and news continue to come from this tragedy the answers are still being sought as to what caused the fire and how did it spread so quickly.
On the morning of the 14th of June, we received various questions from customers via email, Facebook and telephone on the fire safety aspects of our product. There have been various mentions of the exterior cladding which may have caused the fire to spread so quickly. At this time this appears to be only one of a few theories. As we are in the business of selling interior cladding we feel a responsibility to put minds at ease and reassure people concerned after these tragic effects.
The fire at the 24 storey Grenfell Tower in Kensington, West London broke out around 1am on the morning of the 14th of June. This residential highrise block contained 120 homes and was built in 1974. Eye witnesses reported that the fire started at one side of the block and swept across and around the building engulfing the block in flames all the way from the second to the very top floor.
Up until now, at midday on the 15th of June, 17 fatalities have been confirmed and many more are still missing. More than 50 people are in hospital and nearly half of those are in a critical condition.
There are appeals to raise money and support for those effected by the fire and some of those can be found here >>> JUST GIVING
It’s important to mention that it appears that Grenfell Tower lacked sprinklers and some residents didn’t hear any fire alarms whilst making their escape. Eventhough, under current law all new residential blocks built over 30m high must have sprinklers built within them there isn’t any legal requirement for any building built before this time to have a sprinkler system fitted.
A 2016 external renovation, where rain screen cladding, a curtain wall façade and replacement windows were fitted is being looked at as a possible reason why the fire spread so quickly. The company that carried out the renovation have stated that the project met “all required building regulations”.
Ultimately there will be a thorough investigation as to why this happened, and we hope that when it does laws will be changed to protect people who live in high rise blocks and force landlords and building services to fit the safest and best quality materials and safety features in these types of buildings.
As we previously mentioned our product is interior cladding. Meant for use primarily in bathrooms and kitchens, although we do have examples of people using the products throughout their house. Our product comes with Class 1 fire rating, this means that not only does the product struggle to catch light, even if it’s under direct gas flame, it also doesn’t spread heat which in some cases can cause other materials to combust around an affected area. Some of our ranges come with an interior layer of fire retardant material which makes them very difficult to burn.
Some of the questions we took were from people who had fitted or were thinking about fitting our product in mobile homes or caravans. Please be assured that our products, from a fire safety perspective, are as safe to fit in a confined space, such as a caravan, as they are in the commercial spaces where they are also used.
Our thoughts are with the people effected by the terrible events at Grenfell Tower and we wish those effected a full and speedy recovery.
If you have any other questions about our products and how they are affected by fire then please contact us via our website, Social Media or simply give us a call.