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Bannermans Fire Safety Guidelines

Posted 20 May 2024

Category: Aluminium Cladding, eBooks

6 Steps to a Safer Scheme

On 24 November 2014, a single cigarette left on a unit balcony sparked a fire which raced up the Lacrosse tower in Docklands, Melbourne, in approximately 10 minutes. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But on 14 June 2017, a fire at the Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey building in London, took the lives of 72 people and was declared the worst UK residential fire since the Second World War.

The similarity between both these tragedies at home and abroad was the presence of combustible cladding.

Cladding is essentially a non-loadbearing skin or layer attached to the outside of a building used in part to insulate the building and also in part to improve its appearance. Of concern is cladding comprised of combustible polyurethane sandwiched between two layers of aluminium, which is known to be present in high-rises throughout the world.

Authorities in NSW have now taken steps to start addressing the risks, including the establishing of an interagency ‘Cladding Taskforce’ to address fire safety risks in relation to external combustible cladding on buildings.

These steps have shed light on how serious and widespread the problem. A number of prominent Sydney buildings have already been identified as being at risk including the Queen Victoria Building in the CBD, Central Park Shopping Centre and Apartment Tower in Chippendale, Macquarie Bank Building in Barangaroo and O’Brien Building at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst.

With some in the building industry estimating that possibly every 8 in 10 buildings with aluminium cladding may be non-compliant, it is vital that apartment owners in NSW conduct urgent investigations into the make-up of their own buildings.

To understand what you and the owners corporation of your strata scheme can do to protect your building, Bannermans have put together these 6 steps to assist you in keeping you, your family and other residents in your strata scheme safe. (see FAQ 2 for step 1).

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This is an extract from our Bannermans Aluminium Cladding Fire Safety Guidelines.

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Bannermans Lawyers

Published 20 May 2024