The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has responded to the latest Ministerial Update from the Secretary of State for Housing Sajid Javid on the news that a glazed fire door from Grenfell Tower marketed to resist fire for at least 30 minutes failed testing after approximately 15 minutes.
The Secretary of State confirmed government had sought advice from the Independent Expert Panel on the test findings with the panel advising that there was no change to the fire safety advice that the public should follow, and that further investigations into fire doors should be undertaken.
BWF Chief Executive Iain McIlwee responded to the ministerial statement:
“We are glad to be supporting the Technical Group and remain committed to ensuring that specialist advice on fire doors is available to decision makers. Speed is of the essence and we need to make sure information is in the public domain so that immediate risks are identified and appropriate action taken swiftly.
“It was disappointing to read in the paper today of the endemic lack of closers on Fire Doors in the Grenfell Tower – a quarter of all doors had no closer at all and in a further 20% of doors the closer was not working. These are things that can be so easily checked by all of us. If anybody is worried they should do the Fire Door Safety Week Five Step Check and speak to the person responsible for their building about improvements necessary and currently being undertaken.”
In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, the Government commissioned an independent review, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, to look at the regulatory framework around construction, maintenance and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety. An interim report was published in December 2017 with recommendations, including a consultation on the use of desktop studies to assess the fire performance of construction products. BWF has provided support to some of the six industry working groups examining the evidence for the review, and a final report is expected in the late Spring.