NEWS
20/07/2018 14:49 BST | Updated 20/07/2018 15:02 BST

Fire Doors Removed From Sale Following Safety Tests In Wake Of Grenfell Tower Blaze

The news was buried in a statement issued just days before Parliament breaks for the summer.

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Grenfell fire door manufacturer removes products from sale following tests.

A major fire door manufacturer has removed two of its products from the market following serious concerns raised in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The fire doors used in the 24-storey tower which caught fire in June last year, leading to the deaths of 72 people, were manufactured by Manse Masterdor, which was bought by the company Synseal in 2014. 

With just days to go until Parliament’s summer recess begins, the Government announced in a written statement that Synseal had withdrawn its composite and timber doors from the market following Government tests.

These doors, which are similar to those used in Grenfell Tower, did not “consistently meet the minimum standard”. 

Synseal has written to all customers of Masterdor asking building owners to review the fire risks of their properties to determine how quickly these doors could be replaced, the Government said.

Last month the public inquiry into the disaster revealed that the spread of the fire on June 14 was partly due to more than 100 fire doors which did not meet building regulations.

Tests have revealed that the same doors used in Grenfell only withstood fire for 15 minutes – half the amount of time they were supposed to.

The Government said it will also be testing doors from at least 20 suppliers over the next six months.

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Housing secretary James Brokenshire.

James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, said on Thursday: “Following further testing of their fire doors, Synseal has informed my department they have withdrawn their composite and timber fire door range from the market as it does not consistently meet the minimum standard.

“Based on advice sought from the expert panel, Synseal have written to all customers of Masterdor Limited (a subsidiary of Synseal) asking building owners to review the fire risk assessment of their buildings to determine how quickly these doors should be replaced.

“The expert panel have advised me there is no change to the risk to public safety and the failure of Masterdor Limited fire doors remains a product standards issue which is being overseen by Trading Standards.”

Brokenshire added: “Nothing is more important than ensuring that people are safe and feel safe in their homes.

“We have made progress but there is much left to do. I shall provide a further update to the House [of Commons] on this work in the autumn.”

The Government’s statement on Thursday afternoon comes just days before Parliament’s term ends.

In a statement posted on its website, Masterdor said: “As a manufacturer and installer of fire doors, Masterdor Limited takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. The company is currently undertaking one of the most extensive fire door testing programmes seen in the industry to establish the precise nature of the issue and to devise an appropriate fix.

“Furthermore, every customer that has purchased a fire door from Masterdor Limited since 2014 has been updated on the investigation and offered guidance and support.”

It is the latest in a series of steps being taken to remove fire doors across the country. 

In May, Kensington and Chelsea council, the local authority in charge of the borough where the charred remains of Grenfell Tower sits, announced that about 4,000 Manse Masterdor fire doors would be removed from properties throughout the area.

An investigation by HuffPost UK in June revealed how the Grenfell fire had exposed “decades of neglect” in public housing as councils were scrambling to replace tens of thousands of faulty fire doors.

The investigation revealed how local authorities face huge bills to upgrade inadequate and badly-fitted doors, with one fire safety expert saying at least 1 million need replacing in the long-term.

Dame Judith Hackitt’s long-awaited review of building regulations and fire safety systems, which was commissioned by the Government in the wake of the disaster, was published earlier this year.

In it Dame Judith called for a “wholesale change in culture” on fire safety, but stopped short of calling for a ban on flammable cladding, angering survivors of the blaze.