Risk from fire doors ‘remains low’
THE GOVERNMENT has provided an update on fire door safety, noting that the risk to public safety from them ‘remains low’.
Earlier in 2018, an independent panel stated that ‘no change’ was needed to building fire safety advice after a fire door from Grenfell Tower tests recently failed police tests. That panel aimed to ‘determine whether any further action was required as a result’, and in a written statement to the House of Commons, then Housing Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed further investigations into the doors – manufactured by Manse Masterdor, which is now no longer trading – were not recommended.
Now, new Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has updated parliament on the investigation, confirming experts ‘advise the risk to public safety remains low’. The expert panel assembled to investigate the Grenfell door ‘concluded there is a performance issue with these Manse Masterdor fire doors, which do not consistently meet the 30 minute fire resistance standard’.
Despite this, the National Fire Chiefs Council advised the panel that the risk remained low to the public, and had added 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’.
After receiving this advice, the expert panel advised that building owners with this type of door should review fire risk assessments and ‘consider how quickly these doors should be replaced’, publishing guidance to assist them. In turn, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has written to Manse Masterdor customers in the company’s records as having received the doors, as well as intending to test other suppliers’ doors.
Mr Brokenshire added: ‘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.’