New building safety information – fire doors and window panels

There have been a number of important updates from the Government on building safety related to fire door testing, and spandrel, infill and window panels.

24 October 2018

Fire doors testing

Latest information

Following the discovery that a glazed Manse Masterdors from Grenfell Tower failed to meet 30 minute fire and smoke stopping requirements, the Government has embarked on a fire door testing programme.

To date, this programme has focused on glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) composite doors, uncovering a systemic performance issues with this type of product. The fire door industry is working to develop a new GRP composite door that meets testing requirements to bring back to market.

MHCLG’s testing programme will now move on to solid timber doors, and information on any doors failures will be published as it becomes available. You can get involved in this testing programme by emailing MHCLG’s fire door team to:

  • share results for any fire door test you have commissioned within your own organisation
  • ask for specific makes and models of any solid timber doors you want to be included in the testing programme.

Current advice

We know that ongoing concerns about fire doors are causing uncertainty for building owners. Advice from experts remains that the issue presents a low risk to public safety. While testing is carried out, building owners should:

  • follow Government advice on assessing the performance of flat entrance fire doors you have in place
  • look to replace any flat entrance fire doors you suspect do not meet the FD30 standard, and manage underperforming doors through a Fire Risk Assessment while replacement works are carried out.

Spandrel, infill and window panels

Latest information

New advice from the Government has confirmed that spandrel panels (also including window panels and infill panels) should be considered a part of the external wall of a building.

Building owners are being asked to check the materials used in these panels to ensure that they do not present a risk of fire spread over the wall.

Current advice

The advice states that “for buildings over 18m, the clearest way to ensure they do not present a risk of fire spread is to confirm that materials are limited combustibility or better. Where the panels do not meet this classification, the most appropriate means of remediation is to remove and replace the panels, however professional advice should be sought first.”

The Government continues to assess fire risks associated with non-ACM products. For any other concerns you might have about materials used on your tall buildings, please read the Government’s note on external wall systems that do not incorporate Aluminium Composite Material.