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Mon October 25 2021

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Timber fire doors pass furnace testing

19 Jul 19 The results of official tests on timber fire doors show that they do exactly what they are supposed to do, in contrast to some other building products whose flaws have been exposed in recent years.

Timber fire doors do their job properly
Timber fire doors do their job properly

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published the result of tests conducted to timber fire doors.

Testing of timber fire doors began in October 2018 after problems were found with glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors. Last summer five suppliers of GRP composite fire doors were identified as failing to meet the requisite fire performance standard, despite the manufacturers' claims. [See our previous report here.]

By contrast, all timber fire doors tested were given the all-clear. In total, 25 different timber fire doors were subjected to furnace tests.  All of the fire doors tested passed the 30-minute standard on both sides of the door.

The expert panel that is advising the ministry on building safety has therefore concluded that there is no issue with timber fire doors – they perform consistently in fire resistance when tested and pass the 30-minute required standard across the market when manufactured to specification.

However, building owners are advised that they should still always ensure that the fire doors they install are fit for purpose and have the required documentation and certification.

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The testing of fire doors was ordered by the MHCLG in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which put several aspects of building regulations into the spotlight.

The timber fire doors test sample included a range of glazed and unglazed doors with a variety of hardware. The summary results of the timber fire door tests to inform building risk assessments are available at:

Kevin Underwood, technical director for the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), which operates the BWF Fire Door Alliance, said: “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.

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