Fire door advice requires ‘no change’ post Grenfell
AN INDEPENDENT panel stated that ‘no change’ was needed to building fire safety advice after a fire door from Grenfell Tower recently failed police tests.
PBC Today reported on the findings of the expert panel, which looked into the recent test’s findings to ‘determine whether any further action was required as a result’. In a written statement to the House of Commons, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that further investigations into the doors – manufactured by Manse Masterdor, which is now no longer trading – were not recommended.
Investigations by detectives investigating the Grenfell Tower fire found that the front door to one of the flats on a lower floor failed fire tests, and could only withstand fire for 15 minutes when it was meant to withstand 30. At the time of the investigation’s reveal, The Guardian reported that a letter to families affected said that ‘independent experts have advised that the risk to public safety is low, and that evidence from the suspected issue does not change that assessment’.
A police spokesman added: ‘We have previously described that our forensic examination at the scene would be followed by a phase of offsite testing to be conducted by experts on our behalf. A part of this investigation experts tested a flat front door taken from Grenfell Tower. The door tested was designed to resist fire for up to 30 minutes but during the test it was only found to resist the fire for approximately 15 minutes – a much shorter period than expected.
‘The forensic examination and the testing phase is ongoing and we are not unable to comment as to the potential impact or otherwise that any test result may have on the overall criminal investigation. We have shared our information with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the appropriate government departments, so they are able to take any action required.’
In his statement, Mr Javid commented that the government had ‘established a technical group of experts providing specialist advice on fire doors with capacity secured to test fire doors at accredited test houses’, with experts consulted from the Metropolitan Police, the chief scientific advisers to the government and the National Fire Chiefs Council. They were asked to advise ‘whether there should be any changes to the fire safety advice that the public should follow’.
Mr Javid added that ‘we are working closely with devolved administrations and are engaging with local authorities who are supporting us in our investigation’, and offered an update on the investigation ‘as and when’ the expert panel provided further advice, or ‘no later’ than the end of May.