Distributor of cladding material expresses 'shock' at SCDF's flammability test results; says cooperating with authorities

The Peak @ Cairnhill, 51 (right) and 61 (left) Cairnhill Circle are among the 41 buildings found to have unsafe cladding including S'pore Poly and Our Tampines Hub that failed SCDF's fire safety regulations. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The distributor of the cladding materials found to be flammable and installed in 41 buildings here says that it is conducting its own investigations into the products and is cooperating with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

But in a press statement on Thursday (Aug 24) night, it appears to have confused the safety classification of two models from American manufacturer Alubond.

Chip Soon Aluminium wrote: "We have been shocked and dismayed to learn from the SCDF that they believe that FRB1 and FRB2 may not be of the requisite Class 'O' standard as required under the Singapore Fire Code, as we have always believed these products to be fully compliant and properly certified.

"We understand from the manufacturer that these products have been used for building cladding in other countries."

SCDF on Thursday said, however, that model FRB1 is classifed as Class "0" for use as cladding on external walls and FRB2 is classified as Class "1" for roofs and internal walls.

Stocks of both models were mixed together at Chip Soon's warehouse, added SCDF, and the panels from that pool were then supplied to 41 buildings for use as cladding on external walls.

Tests showed that the external walls of some of these buildings contain a mixture of both models, meaning that the cladding were not of the required Class "O" standard.

SCDF has lodged a police report and investigations are ongoing.

The Straits Times has contacted Chip Soon for clarifications.

In its statement, the local firm said that it is "demanding a response from the manufactuer of the products on the products' compliance with the appropriate standards".

It will not be supplying these products until the issues are resolved.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs and SCDF held a briefing, saying that 36 buildings here are using external cladding that may not adhere to safety standards in the Fire Code.

Of these, 15 are confirmed to be using combustible cladding that allows flames to spread quicker than they are supposed to. They include the new Our Tampines Hub, parts of Singapore Polytechnic and luxury condominiums The Peak@Cairnhill I and II.

They also include an industrial complex in Toh Guan Road where a fire broke out in May resulting in one death.

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