After the tragic fire that swept through London’s Grenfell Tower on June 14, killing an estimated 79 people, the British government ordered tests to be carried out on buildings across England with similar cladding.
Information is still coming out about what caused the fire and why it spread so quickly, but the initial belief is that cladding added during a recent refurbishment may have played a large role in causing the fire to spread. An ongoing criminal investigation will determine if the cladding complied with the relevant fire and building regulations.
In total, tests for 600 high-rise buildings have been ordered by the British government. It is unknown how many of those buildings have already been tested, but according to theguardian.com, seven blocks have been found to use combustible cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.
Further tests will be done to ensure these seven blocks are safe. If, after these subsequent tests, the cladding is deemed to be unsafe, the residents will be rehoused until the cladding can be replaced.
Meanwhile, the London borough of Camden has immediately begun removing cladding from five tower blocks deemed to be unsafe according to independent testing by the Camden council. The cladding was found to possess similarities to the cladding used on Grenfell Tower. As this cladding is removed, 24-hour safety wardens are stationed in each of the blocks, according to The Telegraph.
Grenfell Tower's displaced residents are being moved to a currently unfinished luxury block about two miles south of the scene of the fire. The Corporation of London purchased 68 units for the families displaced by the fire. This plan has drawn mixed reactions since it was announced.