Cladding taskforce works thousands of hours

A staggering 22,500 hours of work has gone into inspecting buildings across NSW, suspected of having dangerous cladding.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean said it was part of the overwhelming response by the NSW Government, to keep families as safe as possible, following the tragic Grenfell fire in London last year.

“Our whole of Government response to the issue of dangerous cladding has been more comprehensive than any other state in Australia,” Kean said.

“185,000 buildings have been reviewed by the Cladding Taskforce since the multi-agency group was established a year ago. We’ve also sent out 33,000 letters to building owners, residents and local councils, and passed tough new laws banning unsafe building products.”

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have inspected more than 2,300 buildings, with 435 of those identified as potentially high-risk. “FRNSW has visited every one of these buildings in the last 12 months, and drawn up rapid response plans to be used in the event of a fire,” he added.

“It’s taken around 22,500 hours so far – more than 1,800 hours a month or 430 hours a week, with teams working five days a week to complete the task.”

There are a number of key requirements in NSW buildings that were not mandatory in Grenfell, including:

  • Sprinklers for buildings over 25 metres;
  • Pressurised fire stairs for buildings over 25 metres;
  • A second fire stairs for buildings over 25 metres; and
  • Wet-rise style fire hydrants that contain pressurised water.

Grenfell had a dry-rise system that became clogged with rubbish. “Because of our efforts and these building standards, I’m confident we can avoid a tragedy similar to what we saw in Grenfell. We will continue doing everything possible to keep NSW residents safe,” concluded Kean.