Minister declares timber fire doors safe
23rd July 2019
Housing minister James Brokenshire this week declared there is ‘no performance concern’ with timber fire doors across the industry after publishing tests showing all 25 manufacturers’ doors passed the 30-minute standard on both sides.
The result was welcomed by the British Woodworking Federation which immediately urged all those responsible for fire safety in buildings to review the documents supporting the performance of their fire doors ‘to ensure people’s lives are not put at risk’.
The minister said: “As a result of our tests, the Expert Panel have concluded that they do not believe there is a performance concern with timber fire doors across industry, where they are purchased directly from the manufacturer and produced to specification.”
But he went on to warn that while the tests provide assurances for residents who have concerns: “…it is for building owners to assure themselves that the fire doors they install are fit for purpose and have the required documentation and certification.”
The BWF said in reply: “This is in direct contrast to glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors – the type recovered from Grenfell tower, which initiated this investigation - three quarters of which failed MHCLG tests in results published earlier this year.”
Kevin Underwood, Technical Director for the British Woodworking Federation 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.
“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.”
Chief Executive Helen Hewitt added: “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.”