DHF applauds new fire safety legislation and guidance

On the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell fire tragedy that claimed 72 lives, Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) welcomed the announcement that cladding of the type used on Grenfell Tower is to be banned from use on any building in England.
The Building etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 outlaw the use of metal composite material panels with an unmodified polyethylene core (MCM PE) as part of an overhaul of the English building regulations and associated guidance that will come into effect on 1 December 2022.  This extends the restriction introduced in 2018 on the use of combustible materials on the external walls of certain buildings over 18 metres.
In addition, the Tamworth-based trade association has welcomed The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, that come into effect on 23rd January 2023, whereby flat entrance fire doors are subject to annual checks and those in the common parts of High-Risk Residential Buildings (HRRB), require quarterly checks.  DHF has been a long-standing advocate of the critical role that fire doors play in saving lives and protecting property and has continued to stress that the use of fire doorsets, correctly installed and with robust fire door maintenance procedures, are a vital part of fire safety.
“The new requirement is that annual inspections are undertaken on flat entrance doors and quarterly checks on all fire doors in the common parts.  This is the responsible person’s role, and we support this wholeheartedly; this includes, for example, gaps around the doors, as well as the hardware such as door closers,” explains DHF’s head of commercial operations, Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens.
“We believe this is a long time in coming, but there are a number of benefits for our members and the industry,” Patricia continues.  “Most importantly, this change will ‘raise the bar’ for safety across the sector.  For our members, they are ready to embrace this change as many will be supplying the new complete fire doorsets to the installation companies, the components of which will have been tested together.  If this reminder of the tragedy that happened five years ago has taught us anything, it is that third party certified complete doorsets and compartmentation is key to help minimise the spread of fire.
“The announcement brings together the ‘golden thread of information’ referred to by Dame Judith Hackitt in her report, the passing down of information that is vital in ensuring that when maintaining the product, any repairs that may be required do not compromise the integrity of the fire doorset.  DHF welcomes this new legislation and continues to urge those in positions of responsibility to seek the correct training with regards to inspection, installation, and maintenance of fire doorsets.”
She concluded: “There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes activity over the past five years, and now, I believe we are starting to see the changes coming through; we look forward to embracing them all.”
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