New building safety announcement upholds DHF’s fire safety crusade

The Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has welcomed the Ministerial Statement to the House, given by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, in which he updated members on building safety. 

In particular, he informed those present that following an independent investigation into timber fire doors, no issues had been found with the consistency of the fire-resistance performance of the doors tested.  This is good news for the industry and adds further weight to DHF’s continuing campaign for all fire doorsets to be factory-prepared (as opposed to prepared on-site), and furthermore, certified by a third-party.

In reporting his findings on 18th July, Mr Brokenshire explained that all tests were undertaken to British Standard BS-476:223 in a UKAS accredited test house on complete door sets facing into and away from the furnace.  25 timber fire doors from different manufacturers (and including a range of glazed and un-glazed fire doors with a variety of hardware) were furnace tested, all of which passed the 30-minute standard on both sides.  As a result, the Expert Panel concluded that timber fire doors perform consistently in fire resistance when tested and pass the 30-minute required standard across the market when manufactured to specification.

He did however, make clear that complete assurance can only be achieved if building owners insist that installed fire doors are fit for purpose and have the required documentation and certification in place.

Commenting on the findings, DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this investigation, which is very positive for the industry,” he said.  “As an organisation, DHF has lobbied assiduously for third-party certification of manufacture, installation, maintenance and inspection of fire, smoke and security doors, all of which form a vital part of fire safety.  It is imperative that those responsible for installing and maintaining flat entrance doorsets, such as building owners, ensure that these are purchased directly from the manufacturer and produced to specification.  They have a legal and moral obligation to uphold these practices.”

Earlier this year, DHF joined forces with Secured by Design (SBD) and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) to publish a guidance document on flat entrance doorsets.  The joint publication: A Guide for Selecting Flat Entrance Doorsets; A publication for housing associations, landlords, building owners and local authorities in England, highlights the fundamental issues of fire safety for those selecting fire doorsets.  The federation has, since 2014, also partnered with BRE Academy to offer fire door training courses, together, developing three all-inclusive one-day training courses on fire door safety to offer greater clarity on the regulations and standards applying to fire doors.