The Government and Building Safety

On Tuesday 21st January Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, announced new measures which go faster and further to improve building safety. Key points made by the Minister covered:

  • To give effective oversight of the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings, a Building Safety Regulator will be at the heart of a new regime – and established as part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
  • Building owners are responsible for ensuring their buildings are safe and where there is no clear plan for remediation, the government will work with local authorities to support them in their enforcement options. This covers all aspects of building safety;
  • A consultation into the current combustible cladding ban was launched and a call for evidence on fire risks in buildings;
  • Further details of the upcoming Fire Safety Bill being introduced to Parliament were provided.

In addition to the above summary, the Independent Expert Advisory Panel (the Expert Panel) has issued a number of advice notes for building owners on the measures they should take to ensure their buildings are safe. These include:

  • Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors;
  • Annex A: assurance and assessment of fire doors.

The BWF are currently working through these documents to determine what this means for the fire door industry, in particularly to our members who manufacture fire doors. An update will be issued to our members in the forthcoming weeks.

MHCLG fire door tests

All timber fire doors which underwent fire-resistance testing by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) were found to have met required standards, exceeding the minimum 30-minute burn time requirement.

This is in direct contrast to glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors – the type recovered from Grenfell tower, which initiated this investigation – three quarters of which failed MHCLG tests in results published earlier last year.

Find out more

Click here to read a summary of the Minister announcement from Tuesday 21st January 2020.

Click here to read the advice notes issued by the Independent Expert Advisory Panel on Tuesday 21st January 2020.