Government reveals issues with fire doors from defunct manufacturer
The government has revealed there are issues with fire doors manufactured by a now defunct company which supplied doors to Grenfell Tower.
In a statement to parliament today, housing secretary James Brokenshire said following tests of a fire door that was used in Grenfell Tower, and found to only resist fire for half of the required time, the government’s expert panel had concluded there is a “performance issue” with the fire doors manufactured by Manse Masterdor, which ceased trading in 2014.
In March, the Metropolitan Police said that a fire door from an undamaged flat in Grenfell Tower resisted flame for only 15 minutes when tested. It should have provided 30 minutes of resistance.
Sajid Javid, former housing secretary, told parliament there is “no evidence that this is a systemic issue”.
Mr Brokenshire said: “These doors were manufactured by the company in such a way that the glazing and hardware components fitted would not consistently meet the 30 minutes of fire resistance in furnace tests required for these doors to meet the current building regulations guidance.”
The National Fire Chiefs Council has advised that buildings with this brand of fire door need to review their fire risk assessments and provide them with details of where the doors have been installed. This assessment should also consider how quickly these doors should be replaced.
Mr Brokenshire also said the government will be testing fire doors from other manufacturers.
The note from the government’s independent expert panel states all fire doors should be “routinely checked” by a qualified professional.
An Inside Housing investigation in July revealed that 61% of tower blocks have at least some fire doors which were either broken or did not provide the required 30 minutes resistance to fire.
Flat entrance fire doors should have “test evidence demonstrating they meet the performance requirement in building regulations guidance”.
This evidence should be “carefully checked” to ensure it matches the same specifications of the doors being installed.
Flat front doors that allow access directly into a home from a shared corridor need to resist fire for 30 minutes minimum, with additional requirements for stopping smoke leaking through, the advice note said.
Flat front doors should be replaced if landlords suspect they do not provide 30 minutes’ resistance to fire.
The expert panel said residents should be made aware of the importance of working self-closers on all fire doors. It said a UKAS-accredited body can give landlords and building owners “greater assurance on the performance of the doors”.