Grenfell Tower fire: insurance industry issued fire risk warning one month before tragedy

The UK’s insurance industry issued a warning relating to flammable external surfaces on high rise buildings just one month before the Grenfell Tower fire that left at least 79 people dead.

In a statement, the Association of British Insurers said that it had been calling on the Government to review its standards for building regulations for the last eight years and that it had issued a warning in May specifically relating to the combustible external cladding on buildings like the Grenfell Tower and how it can cause fire to spread.

Councils across the country have launched emergency reviews of their towers in the aftermath of the 14 June North London tragedy and over the weekend, the number of tower blocks that failed emergency fire tests rose to 60.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said every tower tested so far has failed the fire safety check.

The fire is believed to have spread across flammable cladding on the outside of the building which was designed to provide insulation and improve the appearance of the 24-storey block.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has urged local authorities and housing associations to continue to submit samples “as a matter of urgency” amid a nationwide safety operation.

Councils have been told to prioritise checking the towers they are most concerned over.

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