'˜No failures' as cladding on high rise buildings tested

Safety checks of the cladding on Lancashire's high rise buildings are almost complete with no failed tests recorded, the fire service has said.

Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 11:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:45 am
The Hilton, on North Promenade, is one of six high rise buildings in Blackpool.
The Hilton, on North Promenade, is one of six high rise buildings in Blackpool.

Officers have been carrying out inspections in the wake of last month’s Grenfell Tower disaster with a government inquiry launched into the causes of the fatal blaze.

Only a ‘handful’ of checks are still to take place on the county’s 66 tower blocks.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The cladding we have seen in Lancashire has been there purely for aesthetic reasons and has not been packed with insulation behind.

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Sir Martin Moore-Bick

“Some of the older premises which have been insulated externally have a render or finish that doesn’t pose the fire risk seen with the ‘chimney effect’ that has seen much coverage in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.

“There have been no failed tests reported on cladding.”

Experts had speculated the design of the 24-storey building in London caused a ‘chimney effect’ that funnelled flames upwards. At least 80 people are thought to have died but police have said it may be the end of the year before the true figure is known.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick (pictured, inset) has been appointed to lead the inquiry with the result likely to trigger safety reforms .

Sir Martin Moore-Bick

The fire service spokesman added: “Ultimately, we will of course be looking intently at the outcome.”

There are 13 high rise buildings on the Fylde coast – defined as six storeys or higher. Six are in Blackpool and seven in Fylde.