Construction News

Tue October 15 2019

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Door makers tell councils to stop using shortages as excuse for inaction

5 Aug The British Woodworking Federation, which includes many door manufacturers among its membership, has written to all local authorities in England and Wales to refute claims that there is a shortage of safe fire doors.

Manufacturers says there is no shortage of fire doors that meet required standards
Manufacturers says there is no shortage of fire doors that meet required standards

Many councils are being alarmingly slow to replace fire doors that – since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 – are now known to be not fit for purpose.

Kensington & Chelsea Council claimed that it has been unable to replace the 4,000 fire doors within its housing stock due to a lack of ‘reliable products’. Door manufacturers say this is hogwash.

Independent fire tests carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Housing in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire showed that three-quarters of glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors – the type used in Grenfell Tower – failed to meet the minimum 30-minute burn time requirement. However, all timber fire doors that were tested were found to meet or exceed required standards. [See our previous report here.]

Helen Hewitt, chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), has written to all councils drawing their attention to the results of the door testing programme.

She says in her letter: “To suggest that quality, compliant fire doors are not available and ready for installation is simply untrue and must stop being used as an excuse for delaying replacement.”

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