Football clubs urged to check cladding at stadiums following Grenfell Tower fire

Grenfell Tower in west London
Grenfell Tower in west London
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The Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) has written to football clubs across the country to ask them to check on any external cladding their stadium may have following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

At least 80 people died after a fire ripped through a 24-storey Kensington tower block earlier this month, with Prime Minister Theresa May since telling her cabinet there needs to be "a major national investigation" into the use of cladding over a number of decades.

Now the Government-funded public body SGSA, which monitors safety conditions at Premier League and Football League grounds, as well as Wembley and Cardiff's Principality Stadium, has written to owners and managers at stadiums as a precaution urging them to review any external cladding.

A statement from SGSA read: "The Sports Grounds Safety Authority has issued guidance to sports grounds who are reviewing their fire risk assessments with specific reference to external cladding.

"The investigation into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower is ongoing and whilst the cause of the fire is unknown attention has focused on the external cladding on the building. It is important that sports grounds owners and managers can make informed judgements about the fire safety of their buildings.

"Sports grounds generally contain no sleeping risk, benefit from high levels of vigilance when in use and are often fitted with active and passive fire detection systems to help mitigate any fire risk. This does not suggest that there is no risk but these measures significantly mitigate the risk.

"If aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding is identified, check it is the correct type and used in the appropriate location."

Chief Inspector Ken Scott added: "As a precaution we are writing to sports grounds to advise them to check any cladding and review their fire risk assessments if necessary.

"We don't want to cause alarm or add additional burden to sports grounds, but it is important that sports ground management are being proactive and are never complacent about people's safety.

"It is important to stress that ACM cladding is not of itself dangerous, but the correct type should be used in the appropriate location."