University releases reassurance after Grenfell fire


Grenfell Tower. Credit: Getty

The University of Stirling has released a statement seeking to reassure staff and students of the university buildings’ fire safety.

The statement comes just days after the fire which destroyed much of Grenfell Tower in the Kensington area of west London.

It is understood the Grenfell flats were overclad in a nylon-core material called ACM (Aluminium Composite Material). It is believed the overcladding was also the reason for an immense tower block fire in Melbourne, Australia, three years ago.

The university said the overcladding in its buildings are not of this material. The statement added: “The overcladding used in all of the university buildings is different [from Grenfell Tower] and is constructed with a non-flammable, solid aluminium base.

“The cladding on the Cottrell Building has an A1 non-combustible fire rating, which has no requirement for any additional fire retardants to be applied.”

At present, 70 people are suspected to have died in the blaze which consumed the west London block at around 1am on Wednesday. Protests are growing, as surrounding neighbours show their anger for the lack of support for those affected by the fire.

Concerns were reportedly raised after a renovation of the building, which saw the ACM added. The building did not have a sprinkler system in place, which is a legal requirement for buildings over 30m tall.

There is no legal requirement for local authorities to retrofit sprinklers to tower blocks.
MP Ronnie King, honorary secretary of the All-Party Fire Safety and Rescue Group, told LBC Radio there were about 4,000 tower blocks that did not have fire sprinklers fitted.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a full public inquiry would be held into the cause of the fire, and the situation surrounding the safety procedures at the tower, which have been heavily criticised.

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