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SBD Changes Fire Door Requirements

SECURED BY Design (SBD) has updated its requirements for fire doors, so that they have ‘third party certification for both security and fire performance’.
The national police crime prevention initiative and ‘staunch campaigner for improved security in buildings’ stated in a press release that after the Grenfell Tower fire, the government said that ‘non fire resisting doors in high rise tower blocks should be replaced immediately with doorsets that are certified for fire performance by a third party certification authority’.

This means that replacement fire doors & doorsets need to be certified ‘by an independent UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited, third party certification authority’ to a standard ‘providing at least 30 minutes’ fire resistance’. This was based on a letter from the department of communities and local government (DCLG) to chief executives of local authorities and housing associations.

That letter also noted that fire doors ‘deemed to be fire resisting at the time of construction of the block would be satisfactory’, though it added that authorities or associations should ‘replace any non fire resisting doors (such as non fire resisting uPVC doors) immediately with doorsets (doors and frames) that are third party certified as providing at least 30 minutes fire resistance’.

SBD stated that in turn it now requires fire doors that are ‘either described as fire doors, or where fire performance is declared or implied, to have third party certification for both security and fire performance’. In order to gain SBD Police Preferred Specification, manufacturers have had to have third party certification for doors and windows since 2005, and since Approved Document Q (Security) became effective two years ago, security and fire ‘have carried equal weighting’ under building regulations.

The initiative noted that third party certification ‘requires regular retests and production audits to ensure that product quality is assured and maintained over time and goes beyond the one off testing required by the building regulations’. It has been in ‘direct communication’ to advise member companies ‘most affected by the changes’, and notified ‘recognised certification bodies about’ the new requirement.

Mick Reynolds, SBD’s senior development officer, said: ‘SBD has taken the pro-active decision for dual certification as an SBD requirement going forward. The DCLG’s letter is a radical change and seems to remove the ability for a door manufacturer to declare fire performance against a global fire assessment or a one off fire test report.’

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