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Grenfell Tower: Fire door manufacturers told to address failings

Grenfell Tower Image copyright Reuters

Suppliers of fire doors have been told to make changes after products from five brands failed safety tests following the Grenfell Tower fire.

An investigation was launched after it was found that a fire door from Grenfell Tower could only hold back fire for half the time it was meant to.

Problems have now been found with doors from other firms, the government said.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has suggested “there is a broader issue across the fire door market”.

He stressed that the risk was low, however.

All doors known to have failed to meet safety standards have been withdrawn from the market and local trading standards have been informed, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said.

The Grenfell Tower door, manufactured by Manse Masterdor, failed a 30-minute fire resistance test after about 15 minutes.

Doors made by its successor company Masterdor Ltd, as well as those from Specialist Building Products Ltd, trading as Permadoor, Solar Windows Ltd, and Birtley Group Ltd, trading as Bowater by Birtley, have now failed government tests too.

‘Clear plan of action’

Mr Brokenshire said he was “calling on suppliers to meet this week and provide reassurance that they are gripping this issue properly”.

“I want to see a clear plan of action to rectify existing problems and ensure such failures are not repeated in the future,” he added.

“Whilst our expert panel assures me the risk remains low, I want to assure the public that the government is doing everything it can to ensure construction products are of the highest safety standards and accurately tested and marketed.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In total, 72 people died as a result of the fire

The manufacturers cooperated fully with the government investigations, launched by the MHCLG after the Grenfell fire.

In total, 72 people died as a result of the fire in North Kensington, west London, on 14 June 2017.

The ministry is now writing to all building control bodies to highlight the need for existing building regulations guidance on new fire door installations to be followed.

The major suppliers of fire doors have been asked to make weekly reports on their progress after meeting this week to discuss the issue.

Experts say the risk to public safety is low because even when fire doors do not meet the full resistance standards, they provide some protection from the spread of a blaze.

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