Sales of GRP fire door blanks resume

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell highlights an important development following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Sales of GRP fire door blanks and prepped fire doors have now resumed, following the self-imposed industry-wide ban which resulted from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry investigations and subsequent bi-lateral fire door testing initiated by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Government tests on non-damaged fire doors removed from Grenfell Tower found that they did not meet the 30-minute integrity claims. This led Distinction Doors, Capstone and Doorco to stop supplying fire door slabs to the industry until extensive testing gave the three companies slabs they were happy with.

Fire door set manufacturers must now have primary test evidence illustrating that products have passed the required fire tests from both sides, with written confirmation from the test house confirming this result.

Additionally, a director from the manufacturer of the doors should write a confirmation to the supplier of the door blank, enclosing successful bi-directional test evidence confirming that the door sets they intend to manufacture and supply will use, without exception, only the components within the door sets tested. Continued supply of door blanks will continue only when such evidence has been provided.

Andrew Fowlds, chair of the ACDM, said: “The cost to the composite door industry during this period has been very heavy, with a number of casualties in terms of jobs and revenue. However, as long as all manufacturers of such products have completed bi-lateral testing in strict accordance with the Building Regulations, and provided the necessary written confirmation to their supplier, then supply may resume.

“The task force set up by the ACDM to tackle this issue has spent a great deal of time and energy to bring this to the earliest possible conclusion. I am pleased that we have been able to finalise and agree the process to allow the resumption of the manufacture and supply of GRP fire doors to the market under the terms outlined to the Under Secretary. This is essential to prevent further damage to an industry that is already severely weakened and suffering job losses, but which has reacted positively and responsibly by voluntarily withdrawing from the market until this resolution could be found.”

Regarding the issue of remediation, Andrew said: “I have advised the Under Secretary that this will be dealt with separately from the re-supply of new products. A proposal and action plan by the ACDM on how this may be dealt with is currently under consideration.” The ACDM will also become the governing body for the composite door industry, leading the development, implementation and policing of standards while promoting the use of composite doors in established markets as well as developing further opportunities. In response to the MHCLG the association will also compile a database of all fire door products tested by members, in addition to providing technical advice.