Fire safety support

Wrightstyle has written an open letter to its customers, suppliers and specifiers voicing its support for Fire Door Safety Week.
The initiative has been set up by the British Woodworking Federation, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), and aims to raise awareness of the critical importance of fire doors, as well as specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
In the past, Wrightstyle has raised issues of fire safety certification in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where it believed that regulations were not being stringently enforced, or where there was a less than optimal understanding of the performance criteria of using systems where components have not been tested together.
The company has also raised concerns with the UK government, specifically on the issue of fire doors being inspected and passed as fire resistant when, in fact, they offer little protection against the passage of fire, smoke or toxic gases.
“The issue seems to be an incomplete understanding and enforcement of fire specifications contained within the Approved Document B and the usage requirements of certification data,” chairman Denis Wright said.
“In practice, and we have first-hand experience of this, for example unlatched doors with untested or incompatible fire-resistant glass are being accepted as fire doors within the regulatory definitions despite the fact that they are clearly not within the permissible limitations of their supplied test certification.”
Wrightstyle assumes that fire safety officers are placing emphasis on the door’s performance as having, for example, 60 minutes of integrity while paying insufficient attention to the fact that the door types, without an adequate safety latch mechanism, or compatible glass, will certainly fail well within that period, allowing fire, heat or gases to pass through.
In other words, the test certificate may certify the doors as being safe; however, without an integrated latch, the fire safety element may be entirely compromised.
Wrightstyle believes that in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, all eyes are now on the government and what building and fire safety regulations will be introduced, and the company has already voiced concern that more stringent regulations on cladding in Scotland were not applicable in the rest of the UK.