Press release

Update on fire doors investigation – risk to public safety remains low

Housing Secretary updates Parliament on the fire door investigation and confirms experts advise the risk to public safety remains low.

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Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP today (16 May 2018) updated Parliament on the fire door investigation and confirmed experts advise the risk to public safety remains low.

Earlier this year the Metropolitan Police informed government a fire door installed at Grenfell Tower designed to resist fire for up to 30 minutes – as required by building regulations guidance – failed after approximately 15 minutes when tested by the police.

Government immediately sought advice from its independent expert panel to see what action was required, and have undertaken further testing and investigations focusing on composite flat entrance fire doors manufactured by Manse Masterdor – a company that has not been trading since 2014.

The expert panel has concluded there is a performance issue with these Manse Masterdor fire doors, which do not consistently meet the 30 minute fire resistance standard. Nevertheless, the National Fire Chiefs Council has advised the expert panel the risk to public safety remains low. They point out 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.

Based on this advice, the expert panel advise that owners of buildings with this type of door should review their building’s fire risk assessment and consider how quickly these doors should be replaced. The expert panel has published guidance to assist building owners.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is writing to customers of Manse Masterdor identified in the company’s records as having been supplied with these doors. It is also looking at the wider fire door market and intends to test fire doors from other door suppliers.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

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.

Fire service advice to residents remains the same. Regularly test your smoke alarms, ensure your front door is properly closed and in the event of a fire follow existing fire procedures for the building.

What is the safety advice for residents?

  • The National Fire Chiefs Council has advised that the risk to public safety is low.
  • In the event of a fire people should follow existing fire procedures for the building.
  • Residents should also test their smoke alarms regularly to ensure they work and ensure that their flat front door is fitted with a working self-closing device.
  • All doors provide essential protection in a fire if they are properly closed.
  • Fire safety advice for residents is available at: www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/High–Rise-Safety-for-Residents

How do I know if I need to replace fire doors in the building I own?

  • The department is writing to customers of Manse Masterdor identified in the company’s records as having been supplied with these doors and is considering what further support building owners may require to assist with taking timely action.
  • The expert panel has published guidance for building owners who are replacing or want to inspect their flat front entrance fire doors.
  • The department is now looking at the wider fire door market, and intends to test fire doors from other door suppliers and will provide an update on these tests in due course.

What is your advice for owners of buildings which have been installed with these fire doors?

  • Owners of buildings where Manse Masterdor 30 minute composite fire doors have been installed should review their building fire risk assessments and consider how quickly these doors should be replaced.
  • The expert panel’s advice is that these doors should be replaced using a risk-based approach, and they have published advice for building owners who are replacing 30 minute composite front entrance fire doors.
  • General advice for building owners on how to ensure the safety of residents in blocks of flats is available at: www.local.gov.uk/fire-safety-purpose-built-flats

How do I know if my landlords have installed these doors to my flat?

  • We are writing to all customers of Manse Masterdor identified in the company’s records as having been supplied with these doors, to notify them of the issue.
  • Residents should contact their landlords who will be able to advise whether they have been supplied with the affected doors. If there is uncertainty the expert panel advise that a suitably qualified person can inspect the doors and this advice is set out in their advice note on fire doors which can be accessed from the building safety programme website

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Published 16 May 2018