29th August 2018: Clarification from MHCLG on advice related to testing on both sides on fire doors

29th August 2018: Clarification from MHCLG on advice related to testing on both sides on fire doors

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has today (28th August 2018) published Advice Note 17, a clarification to Advice Note 16 regarding the testing of fire doors from both sides. It highlights that advice related to testing on both sides relates to composite doors only.   The statement below is drawn from this clarification:
On 31 July 2018 the Department wrote to Building Control Bodies alerting them to the need to check the performance of fire resisting doorsets to ensure that the requirements of building regulations are met. This note can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-building-owners-onassurance-and-replacing-of-flat-entrance-fire-doors.

We are taking steps to clarify this note given systemic issues have so far been identified in the composite door industry only. This advice note, therefore, provides further detail to Building Control Bodies, test laboratories and suppliers of the particular importance of testing composite doors on both sides and confirms that this advice applies to composite doors only. 

The advice note provides further detail and is published in full on the MHCLG website here.

BWF has asked for confirmation from MHCLG that this is being circulated to the building control associates, as with the previous circular letter. We have also asked for clarification around how this will be presented on the .gov website in relation to Advice Note 16 so as to avoid any further confusion.

Initial information published 17th August 2018

BWF are aware that Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have written to Heads of Local Authority Building Control and Approved Inspectors regarding fire doors advising that they seek confirmation that “test evidence is presented of exposure to fire for both sides of the door, to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Approved Document B”.

This has caused some confusion and many projects have been delayed, or deliveries have been returned, as members are tasked by their customers to provide evidence in accordance with the Government’s statements.  We are concerned that this is not only delaying projects, but also putting members of the public at risk as critical fire safety improvements are being prevented.

BWF continues to work with MHCLG and stakeholders from across the Fire Door Sector to press for greater clarity in the guidance issued.

In the interim, the BWF Fire Door Alliance has prepared a response to support members in dealing with this situation.

This guidance is available for public download here.