The government is undertaking an investigation into the fire door industry and has issued guidance to building owners and occupiers.
The government’s fire door investigation
The government is undertaking an investigation into the fire door industry following concerns about the consistency of flat front entrance fire doors against the required performance standards.
Advice to building owners
There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their homes. Building owners should assure themselves that products being used in their buildings meet the required standards.
Where doors that have failed tests are installed, building owners should speak to the contractor responsible for installation or the supplier that produces the doors to get further information about the nature of failure and potential action required. They should also review their building fire risk assessments to determine how quickly these doors should be replaced.
As soon as doors fail a government-commissioned safety test, the supplier is informed and asked to remove the product from the market. The company should then investigate the reason for the failure to understand what action they need to take to remedy the problem.
In parallel, the government will inform National Trading Standards who will ensure local investigations are carried out to determine if and when the fire door concerned can return to market. They will also inspect the supplier’s operations and commission further investigations into other fire doors produced by the supplier as appropriate.
The government’s independent expert panel and the National Fire Chiefs Council has clarified that while the risk to public safety remains low, those buildings affected by this issue should review their fire risk assessment to consider this new information and determine how quickly affected doors should be replaced.
They also advise that for fire doors to work correctly they must be installed as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Advice to occupiers
In the event of a fire, residents and guests in a building should follow existing fire procedures. Fire doors are specially engineered doors designed to contain fire for a period of time. Fire doors work as part of a layered fire protection system within a building.
While our investigations may suggest a particular fire door might not perform to the required standard, all doors can provide protection in a fire when closed.
Building owners and residents should ensure all fire doors are kept in good condition and the self-closing mechanism working correctly. Deficiencies should be reported to the landlord or managing agent.
Doors and the self-closing mechanism should not be removed as this increases the safety risk. Occupiers should test their smoke alarms regularly.
Fire doors are being tested to the standard they are being marketed at in an accredited test facility. Tests are being carried out according to Building Regulations guidance which states that fire doors (other than lift doors) should meet the required standards from both sides.
Timber door tests
We began the investigation into timber doors in October 2018. While testing is ongoing, there have been no failed tests to date.