Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP today (16 May 2018) updated Parliament on the fire door investigation and confirmed experts advise the risk to public safety remains low.
Earlier this year the Metropolitan Police informed government a fire door installed at Grenfell Tower designed to resist fire for up to 30 minutes – as required by building regulations guidance – failed after approximately 15 minutes when tested by the police.
Government immediately sought advice from its independent expert panel to see what action was required, and have undertaken further testing and investigations focusing on composite flat entrance fire doors manufactured by Manse Masterdor – a company that has not been trading since 2014.
The expert panel has concluded there is a performance issue with these Manse Masterdor fire doors, which do not consistently meet the 30 minute fire resistance standard. Nevertheless, the National Fire Chiefs Council has advised the expert panel the risk to public safety remains low. They point out that fire protection in a building is developed using a range of measures so a failure of one protection measure – such as fire doors – should not significantly change the overall safety of residents. In addition, all doors provide essential protection in a fire if they are properly closed.
Based on this advice, the expert panel advise that owners of buildings with this type of door should review their building’s fire risk assessment and consider how quickly these doors should be replaced. The expert panel has published guidance to assist building owners.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is writing to customers of Manse Masterdor identified in the company’s records as having been supplied with these doors. It is also looking at the wider fire door market and intends to test fire doors from other door suppliers.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
Public safety is paramount. When we were informed about an issue with a Grenfell Tower fire door, we acted quickly to seek independent expert advice and established a wide-ranging investigation.
Based on the results of these investigations to date, the expert panel advise the risk to public safety remains low. However they advise there is a performance issue with Manse Masterdor which is why we are taking the responsible step of writing to relevant building owners setting out clear advice on what they should do.
Fire service advice to residents remains the same. Regularly test your smoke alarms, ensure your front door is properly closed and in the event of a fire follow existing fire procedures for the building.