Latest Public Sector News

05.10.18

Council faces £21m bill to replace 17,000 doors after fire safety test failures

Hackney Council will fit 17,000 new fireproof doors as the local authority faces a £21m bill to bring homes up to building safety regulations.

Fire resistance testing has revealed that thousands of the council’s door stock don’t meet the required 30-minute fire and smoke resistant legislation, meaning thousands of homes in London might not have the required level of fire protection.

The council is urgently replacing 1,200 doors, mostly those in flats in tower blocks of six storeys and higher, with the whole project taking three years to complete and costing more than £21m.

The door replacement work is being undertaken in order of priority, with front doors in blocks of 10 storeys or higher receiving the new or upgraded doors first.

Hackney Council commissioned fire resistance testing on its door stock back in April, similar to the testing which revealed that Grenfell Tower’s doors failed under test conditions after just 15 minutes.

Kim Wright, its group director of neighbourhoods and housing, said: “We have been working very closely with the London Fire Brigade on this issue. Their advice is that residents are at no immediate risk and the current doors provide protection and valuable escape time in the event of a fire.

“What we are proposing is investment in new doors that will make homes even safer.”

The fire safety testing included two composite and one timber brands, but Hackney council said it doesn’t have any of the doors that failed the Grenfell testing.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the two door types which conclusively failed the tests in Hackney have now been removed from the market after failing the government’s own tests.

Wright added: “Fire-rated doors prevent the spread of fire and smoke. It is important to remember that the Grenfell tragedy related to the cladding on the building, which assisted the spread of the fire, and not the fire doors.”

Further testing will be undertaken in the coming weeks, and the plans will go before the Hackney cabinet later this month.

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Image credit - georgeclerk

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