‘Factory-prepared doorsets are the way forward’: DHF reacts following police investigation into Grenfell

DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) has re-issued its call for the use of factory-prepared doorsets in the wake of recent findings regarding the Grenfell tragedy. It was reported last week that a police investigation has found a number of the doors to flats in Grenfell Tower did not meet test standards and could only hold back a fire for half the time they were designed to: just 15 minutes as opposed to 30.

The test was conducted as part of a Metropolitan Police review into the fire in West London which killed 71 people last June. Since the tragedy, DHF has released a number of recommendations pertaining to the need for increased fire safety in multi-occupancy buildings such as tower blocks and office buildings and stressing the vital importance of compartmentation and the grave risks of getting it wrong.

The Tamworth-based trade association believes that installing a complete factory-prepared doorset that has been tested as a complete unit, manufactured under a third-party certification scheme, installed and maintained by companies certified to do so under third-party certification, provides a plethora of benefits, namely, safety, peace of mind, reduced installation time and ultimately, costs. In February, DHF produced a comprehensive guide to the benefits of ‘factory prepared complete timber doorsets’ in a bid to raise awareness of their many advantages, most importantly, fire safety. And the organisation has also urged the UK to follow Europe’s lead in providing more thorough fire door maintenance procedures, which can ultimately, save lives.

“We find the results of the Metropolitan Police’s recent investigation extremely troubling,” explained DHF’s CEO, Bob Perry. “Fire doors are an integral part of the fire strategy for any building. Properly installed and maintained, a fire door will achieve its specified fire resistance which could be anything between 30 minutes and four hours, depending on location, providing vital and life-saving minutes in the event of a fire. We wholeheartedly recommend the use of factory-prepared complete doorsets whose components have been tested together and – when correctly manufactured, installed and maintained by trained personnel – will meet the necessary fire safety requirements. We would also once again encourage landlords and large housing providers such as local authorities and housing associations to be completely aware of their legal and moral responsibilities in ensuring that their premises provide protection and keep their residents safe.”