75% of GRP fire door manufacturers fail tests
Three quarters of manufacturers who make glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite fire doors have failed government-commissioned furnace tests.
The studies examined if the doors could withstand fire for 30 minutes, new documents published by the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) show.
Publishing the data to inform building owners’ risk assessments, MHCLG warned that there was a “performance issue” with GRP composite 30-minute fire doors “across the market”, although it noted that the tests represented only a sample of the market and were only relevant for the specific model of door set tested from the manufacturers.
The doors failed for a range of reasons including performance at the glazing, letter box and door frame.
MHCLG added that there was “some evidence of over-reliance on written assessments being used in lieu of primary tests for significant changes in hardware and ironmongery, and for the reverse side of the door”.
The tests, carried out between February and August 2018, came after the Metropolitan Police investigated the Grenfell Tower fire and found that a glazed GRP composite front fire door manufactured by Manse Masterdor, which has since ceased trading, failed after just 15 minutes despite the manufacturer’s claim that it would provide 30 minutes of fire resistance.
All tests were undertaken to BS-476:22 in a UKAS-accredited test house on complete sets or doors facing into and away from the furnace. The exception was Manse Masterdor doors, which are no longer manufactured, so were removed from existing buildings to allow testing.
Doors 'cannot be relied on'
In total, 20 different Manse Masterdor doors were furnace tested. The expert panel concluded there was an issue with the doors which meant they could not be relied upon to meet the required standard.
A wider test of other GRP composite doors involving 22 individual fire doors from different manufacturers was also carried out, which led the expert planel to conclude that there was an issue with doors “across the market”. Two tests failed in under 15 minutes.
Trading Standards has been notified of all companies whose fire doors failed the furnace test and local Trading Standards are now working with the companies concerned. All companies have been asked to write to their customers informing them of the failure and asking them to conduct a new building safety risk assessment.
The Association of Composite Door Manufacturers (ACDM) has agreed with MHCLG that all GRP composite fire doors sold from their members will be removed from the market until they can demonstrate they meet the required standard.
The association has also committed to acting regarding doors in situ and is producing a plan of action for repair and replacement of doors found not to meet the standard.
To review the results of the tests, along with comments from individual manufacturers, click here.