New regulations, training systems and research are underway but there’s much still to be done.
Since the Grenfell Tower fire claimed 72 lives in 2017, Australia has identified flammable cladding on more than 3,400 buildings. Despite apartment owners’ fears and rising costs, few have been fixed.
An electrical engineer explains how smoke detectors work, and how to reduce the chances of a false positive.
Weak regulation and a lack of mandatory inspections have increased fire risks for the one in four homes with rooftop PV panels. Here’s what we need to do to be safer.
Understanding fire history is crucial to designing effective fire management in order to maintain biodiversity and support the livelihoods of people.
The public inquiry into Grenfell makes its first report – but those responsible for the circumstances leading up to the fire are yet to face the consequences.
It will take time to digest the details of the 830-plus page report from phase one of the inquiry, but there are clear improvements to be made.
Ensuring a building will be safe against fire requires careful consideration from not only fire engineers, but also from builders, architects and building owners.
Unsafe apartments are being evacuated as confidence plummets – even the author of a report commissioned by building ministers wouldn’t buy a new apartment. What will it take for governments to act?
The construction industry crisis didn’t happen overnight. Authorities have been on notice for years to fix the problems that now have the industry itself calling for better regulation.
Regulations that are meant to protect residents from building failures and fires have been found wanting. All governments must take responsibility for fixing the defective regime they created.
Grenfell Tower fire is the kind of tragedy that changes the built environment forever, through new building rules and safety measures.
Estimated costs for Victoria alone range from hundreds of millions to as much as $1.6 billion If work to rectify buildings fitted with combustible cladding isn’t well handled.
I have been interested in the science of fire and fireworks for a long time, and can tell you there is a lot happening in the very short time it takes to light a match.
Years of regulatory failure are having direct impacts on the hip pockets of the many Australians who bought defective houses or apartments. It’s turning into a multibillion-dollar disaster.
Under the new code, buildings are hardly likely to differ measurably from their fault-ridden older siblings and can still fall short of a six-star rating. It’s possible they may have no stars!
Architects, certifiers and engineers who work as consultants to builders are on notice about potential liability for the use of flammable cladding, but governments are also culpable for their actions.
The risks of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings have long been known. And audits have identified hundreds of Australian buildings with this cladding. Delay in replacing it is inexcusable.
As more and more Australians live and work in high-rise buildings, their responsibilities and roles in ensuring all occupants’ safety must not be neglected.
Fortunately, no lives were lost in the latest cladding fire in Melbourne, but it’s a stark reminder of the urgent need to track and verify that building materials comply with safety standards.