Ferm Engineering and partners use the Society of Fire Safety (SFS) three-step assessment process for investigating, testing and risk reporting on aluminium composite panel (ACP), aluminium composite material (ACM) and EPS cladding systems to meet state legislative requirements and the disclosure necessary for building owners’ insurance policies.
The SFS Guidance Note on Cladding is sanctioned by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) for ACP cladding assessments and structured in a three-step evaluation process, which includes defined methods of investigating and documenting wall systems, recording product data, testing fire properties and reporting risk levels and mitigation options.
Ferm Engineering has developed a strict code for the chain of custody review to ensure the integrity of property data. Three ACP or ACM 50mm-sized samples will be taken from each suspect section of wall cladding or ACP type to determine the composition of its core material for combustibility. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation and coating are also cut out in discrete locations to test. The sample groups are processed by partner test agencies to understand the fire risk potential, with registered distribution and returns for reports to follow the chain of custody policy.
Ferm’s research team and engineers regularly and extensively consult with the insurance industry, government agencies and legal advisers to follow the SFS guide outlines and we monitor and adjust our methods for this important fire safety issue. State regulators have been unable to agree on a common approach, so Ferm has developed its own assessment of state laws in a client review matrix.
The matrix of laws and statutory reporting has been researched and presented in “The Cladding Trap”, a guide for building owners and insurance representatives to enable them to gain comparative knowledge of ACP audit processes.