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Push for building product rules after Docklands tower fire

Building Ministers from each state and territory agreed on a number of recommendations to address concerns at a meeting on Friday.

Aluminium cladding attached to one Melbourne building had acted like a wick during an apartment fire last year, rapidly pulling the flames up and down multiple floors, according to firefighters.

The Docklands tower fire, which may lead to a class action lawsuit, exposed how some builders relied on cheap cladding imported from China during the latest construction boom.

The Australian Building Codes Board will investigate options for a mandatory certification scheme for high-risk building products and consider a requirement for all balconies to have sprinklers, regardless of size.

The design and speed of early fire warning systems is also continuing to be reviewed.

The board will report back to ministers within six months.

Building Ministers from each state and territory agreed on a number of recommendations to address concerns at a meeting on Friday.

The Australian Building Codes Board will investigate options for a mandatory certification scheme for high-risk building products and consider a requirement for all balconies to have sprinklers, regardless of size.

The design and speed of early fire warning systems is also continuing to be reviewed.

The board will report back to ministers within six months.

State Planning Minister Richard Wynne said it was clear a national certification program for high-risk building products needed to be adopted.

"All the states have today recognised the need for a stronger building products accreditation system to help prevent fire tragedies in our high rises," he said.

"We must act on this as a matter of priority, to ensure that the lives of people in the community are safe and not put at risk."

An audit of nearly 200 buildings within inner Melbourne is continuing, with the Victorian Building Authority examining any high-rise built since 2005 that may have used the non-compliant, flammable products.

Residents in some inner-city towers have also expressed concerns over cheap wiring and power points used during the construction of their units.

Labor's industry spokesman Kim Carr said the federal government needed to do more to ensure fire safety standards across the country.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/push-for-building-product-rules-after-docklands-tower-fire-20150731-giou4r.html#ixzz3hiShYzJS


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