BWF calls for national fund to fix and replace fire doors after Grenfell finding

4 April 2018

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) is calling on the government to
take action to ensure fire doors are installed as fit for purpose following reports that an undamaged door from Grenfell Tower had failed fire testing.

Testing of a Grenfell flat fire door reportedly showed fire resistance for 15 minutes rather than its 30 minutes design performance.

BWF CEO Iain McIlwee has described the finding as “concerning” and has written to communities secretary Sajid Javid.

The Evening Standard has reported on Mr McIlwee’s call, quoting his letter to the minister and his suggestion to establish a national fund to fix and replace doors.

“Grenfell is a tragic event and we and our members stand resolute in our commitment to supporting this review process and ensuring that this event can never happen again,”

Mr McIlwee said in a statement. The BWF has been working hard to raise awareness about the critical role of fire doors through its Fire Door Scheme (BWF Certifire), Fire Door Inspection Scheme and Fire Door Safety Week.

On March 13 it launched, in partnership with the NPTC Group of Colleges, a qualification to target the installation of fire doors in the UK.

“Too many people don’t give fire doors a second thought, and forget that their real job is to provide a barrier to fire, prevent it spreading throughout a building and keep escape and access routes clear.”

Mr McIlwee said getting just one small detail wrong in a fire door could have an enormous impact.

“We regularly see fire doors that have been compromised by the use of uncertificated, incompatible and non-fire-resistant components, poor fitting and inadequate maintenance, and of course if a fire door is wedged open it’s no use whatsoever.”