BWF CEO puts record straight on reliability of fire doors

18 June 2019

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has refuted suggestions that there is a lack of reliable fire doors on the market for councils to replace existing faulty doors in their housing stock.

Responding to a news story in the Huffington Post last week BWF CEO Helen Hewitt said she was “deeply disappointed” to see the “unacceptable news” of councils delaying replacement of thousands of faulty fire doors.

The press article said Kensington and Chelsea Council claimed to have been unable to replace the 4,000 fire doors within its housing stock due to a lack of “reliable products”.

A delay of up to three years due to a restricted supply of quality fire doors was possible, it said. Ms Hewitt said there was no shortage of supply for high quality fire doors.

Around 3 million fire doors are certified and put to market every year through the BWF’s Fire Door Alliance accreditation scheme,” she said.

“For over 22 years the BWF’s scheme has ensured the quality, safety and traceability of fire doors through third party certification. This further counters the council’s claims that manufacturers have only just begun producing doors which meet national regulatory standards. We have been doing it for years and the supply is absolutely there.”

Fire testing of BWF member products has shown the average fire-resisting time for their products in a 30-min fire test is 46min, with some lasting up to 54min.

Ms Hewitt said if delays in councils replacing fire doors were also down to a dispute over who foots the bill for replacement, then this needed to be addressed urgently.