Three quarters of fire doors failed safety tests in wake of Grenfell Tower blaze

Hundreds more fire doors installed in blocks of flats across the country could be unsafe, after it emerged three quarters had failed safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Just three of the 12 composite doors tested were found to be fire resistant for the 30 minutes required by building regulations.

And two of the doors failed in less than 10 minutes.

The flat front doors, made from glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) have been pulled from the market.

And it could mean building owners and councils have to replace thousands of doors in tower blocks across the country.

The Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government said they did not know how many flats had faulty doors installed.

But in a statement, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the “overall risk to public safety was low.”

A temporary ban on the sale of composite doors was introduced in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, but was lifted in December.

Testing was ordered after it emerged a fire door in the block which was supposed to resist fire for 30 minute had failed after just 15 minutes.

In testing, doors from nine manufacturers failed the 30 minute test, with one doors failing after just eight minutes.

In a statement to Parliament, Mr Brokenshire said there had been an “over-reliance” on so-called “desktop studies” to assess the safety of fire doors across the industry.

Such studies use previous tests of components to assess the safety of the door, without actually testing how it withstands fire as a complete system.

The reasons for the doors failing the new tests varied, but included the glass, letterboxes and door frames.

In August last year, the Association of Composite Door Manufactures (ACDM) agreed to pull all GRP fire doors from the market, until they could demonstrate meeting the required standard.

The ACDM is now working on a plan to repair and replace the affected doors which have already been installed.

Mr Brokenshire said: “Nothing is more important than making sure people are safe in their homes.

“Following the Grenfell Tower fire, we took swift and decisive action to investigate the fire doors industry by notifying National Trading Standards and preventing the production and sale of any GRP composite fire doors with immediate effect.

“I have been clear that the door industry must take responsibility for replacing their defective fire doors and we are urgently working with them to give effect to their commitment as soon as possible.”

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