According to Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, all timber fire doors that were fire tested by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) ‘met required standards’.
All timber fire doors tested pass government programme
24 July 2019
In a statement to parliament, Mr Brokenshire stated that all timber fire doors that underwent the MHCLG fire resistance testing ‘were found to have met required standards’, and exceeded the 30 minute minimum burn time requirement. One unit resisted flames ‘for as long as 59 minutes’ when opening away from the furnace, with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) stating that this was ‘in direct contrast to glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors’.
Such units were found in Grenfell Tower, and were the reason for the government testing, with three quarters of such units tested failing MHCLG testing earlier this year. Mr Brokenshire added that he was ‘pleased to report’ that all such units ‘have succeeded in meeting the required 30-minute fire performance standard’, adding that an expert panel had concluded ‘that they do not believe there is a performance concern with timber fire doors across industry’.
These units are ‘purchased directly from the manufacturer and produced to specification’, he stated, with BWF technical director Kevin Underwood commenting: ‘We know through carrying out our own survey that doors produced by members of the BWF Fire Door Alliance have all performed beyond the minimum standards required in these tests.
‘We would actively encourage those responsible for the fire safety of buildings to review the test and certification documents that support the performance of their fire doors to ensure people’s lives are not put at risk. Fire doors perform an essential role of preventing the spread of fire and smoke and keeping escape routes clear. The government must act quickly to eliminate all existing issues and ensure that all future fire doors are fit for purpose.’
In turn, Helen Hewitt, BWF chief executive, stated: ‘The Government is rightly focused on providing communities with greater protection through implementation of its much needed “Building a Safer Future” plan. The introduction of a more effective regulatory framework, greater accountability, supported by clearer standards and guidance will create a more responsible construction industry. Product safety performance and traceability will be key, with testing and certification intrinsic to driving this forward.
‘With the BWF Fire Door Alliance, we have been campaigning for greater fire safety for decades – including starting the Fire Door Safety Week national awareness campaign seven years ago. In conjunction with our members, the week continues to raise the importance of fire doors working to inform, educate and call for change. Importantly, it also generates awareness of how fire doors protect occupants, buildings and fire fighters.’