Installing fire doors – Do I need an approved installer?
Since the Grenfell Tower fire there has been much tighter focus on all aspects relating to fire safety in residential buildings.
One area of concern is fire doors, as there is evidence from the Grenfell Inquiry that the doors there had not done their job properly.
A fire door and its surround from an undamaged part of Grenfell Tower was removed and tested subsequently. In the test it only provided 15 minutes’ protection instead of the 30 minutes’ protection it should have done.
This was just one of several concerns about the quality of the doors within Grenfell Tower raised as part of the Grenfell Inquiry.
Fire door installation best practice
The safest approach to take when buying fire doors is to purchase a kit, which includes the door already assembled in a frame. This must then be installed correctly in the wall where it is intended to be located by competent tradespeople.
There are increasing reports of insurers, building inspectors, landlords and others involved in ensuring that building standards are maintained, insisting that fire doors are fitted by installers who are third party certified.
This is in spite of the fact that there is not a legal requirement for this. This is being driven by much greater caution about fire safety within the construction and housing sectors because of the Grenfell Tower inquiry and planned fire safety legislation reforms on the horizon.
Should I consult with my insurer on fire doors?
Fire door suppliers and products should be carefully vetted and scrutinised to understand any potential concerns over safety and performance.
Those installing fire doors, particularly in housing, would also be advised to check with their insurers and other relevant parties, whether approved installers are required for this work.