Government to investigate fire door industry
The fire door industry is to be investigated by the UK government, following concerns about product consistency within the sector.
In the wake of 2017’s Grenfell Tower disaster, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has said that nothing is more important than making sure people are safe in their homes, and that property owners should ensure that products used in their buildings meet the required standards.
In the meantime, in cases where doors have failed safety tests, building owners should contact either the contractor responsible or the supplier, and also review their building fire risk assessments to determine how quickly the doors should be replaced, the MHCLG says.
Currently, as soon as a door fails a government-commissioned safety test, the supplier is informed and asked to remove the product from the market. The company should then investigate the reason for the failure to understand what action needs to be taken.
At the same time, the government will inform National Trading Standards who will ensure local investigations are carried out to determine if and when the fire door concerned can return to market. They will also inspect the supplier’s operations and commission further investigations into other fire doors produced by the supplier as appropriate.
Advice to occupiers
The MHCLG says that in the event of a fire, residents and guests should follow existing fire procedures, and that ‘fire doors are specially engineered doors designed to contain fire for a period of time,’ that ‘work as part of a layered fire protection system within a building’.
The ministry adds that, while its ‘investigations may suggest a particular fire door might not perform to the required standard, all doors can provide protection in a fire when closed’.
Meanwhile, ‘building owners and residents should ensure all fire doors are kept in good condition and the self-closing mechanism working correctly. Deficiencies should be reported to the landlord or managing agent. Doors and the self-closing mechanism should not be removed as this increases the safety risk. Occupiers should test their smoke alarms regularly.’