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Protection Fire doors

On 18 December 2018, the Government announced that it is implementing in full the recommendations of the Hackitt Review through the Building a Safer Future plan. The BWF welcomed this news, with its members manufacturing around three million third-party certificated fire doors in the UK each year. The Building a Safer Future plan is a muchneeded step forward for the fire door industry, providing an effective regulatory framework and more accountability that will be supported by the introduction of clearer standards and guidance. BWF is hopeful that third-party certification will be enforced by legislation at some point over the next 18 months. Following on from the Grenfell tragedy, issues with product performance supplied by certain door manufacturers have been highlighted in the national press. Through responsible third-party certification, the ongoing testing, independent auditing of control systems and product traceability would be a routine task, helping to drive standards within the industry. However, this does pose the question: what should the industry do in the meantime? It should not have taken Grenfell to bring this to the forefront, but now is the time to look forward and make fundamental changes to how the industry operates. The entire fire door industry shouldn’t be waiting for the Government to instruct it instead the industry should be taking the lead. Not only does this affect how fire doors are made, but how they are installed and correctly maintained. For a fire door to perform on site, it should be installed in exact accordance to the complete specification stated within the third-party certification scope detailed on the associated documentation and manufacturer’s instructions. This documentation will detail all limitations of the product (relating to size and configuration), installation instructions and precise specification of all the compatible components that can be used (such as intumescent seals, glazed aperture systems, etc). It’s crucial that this specification is adhered to for correct installation and essential ongoing maintenance.

Promoting an understanding of passive fire protection measures The issues around fire door safety don’t just exist in high-rise, high-risk buildings. They are prevalent in pretty much any sector and building type that you think of: • public and private residential accommodation • educational • specialist housing • defence and secure accommodation.

These places house some of the most vulnerable members of the community. BWF is currently planning for the eighth Fire Door Safety Week. Taking place from the 23–29 September 2019, BWF will continue to raise awareness of the critical role that fire doors play in saving lives and protecting property by using case studies and public feedback to help stamp out future bad practice. Awareness about the critical role of fire doors has certainly grown in the months after Grenfell, but there is still a long way to go and that’s why campaigns such as Fire Door Safety Week are so important. People deserve transparency regarding the performance of their products and have the right to question the performance of existing provision. n

About the author Hannah Mansell Head of Technical Research British Woodworking Federation Chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum, Spokesperson for the Fire Door Safety Week campaign and Trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust

Further information • To find out more about Fire Door Safety Week, visit • BM TRADA offers regular training days, seminars and demonstrations to explain a wide range of fire door issues. To find out more, visit

Further reading • Getting started with... Fire protection: your responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order (RRFSO), ISBN 978-1-90959422-7, BM TRADA, 2014 • Getting started with… Specifying the performance of doors, ISBN 978-1-909594-463, Exova BM TRADA, 2016 • WIS 1-13 Performance of fire-resisting timber-based doorsets, Exova BM TRADA, 2018

References 1. A survey of 1,001 tenants living in flats was conducted in September 2016 by Atomik Research on behalf of Fire Door Safety Week. Further details can be found here: 2. See 3. Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook

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Profile for BM TRADA

Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook  

The annual publication of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) includes topical and technical features on all aspects of...

Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook  

The annual publication of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) includes topical and technical features on all aspects of...

Profile for trada