Following the Grenfell fire tragedy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) began investigating the fire door industry, specifically regarding composite doors. They identified a number of composite doors that failed to meet the 30-minute fire door requirement, outlined in Approved Document B. All doors identified have been withdrawn from the market.  The MHCLG has written to building control bodies highlighting the need for fire doors to be tested from both sides, in both configurations (i.e both directions of opening), in order to comply with Approved Document B. To this end the MHCLG has produced Advice Note 16 stating that:

“Flat entrance fire doors should have test evidence demonstrating they meet the performance requirement in the Building Regulations guidance for fire resistance and smoke control from both sides.” Advice Note 16 can be found here.

However, the production of this advice has led to some confusion within the industry, leading to delay in delivery or return of deliveries as contractors are asking them to comply with this new testing regime. The MHCLG published Advice Note 17 on 28 August, updating its initial advice in Advice Note 16, clarifying that the advice given relates to composite doors only.

We are taking steps to clarify this note given systemic issues have so far been identified in the composite door industry only. This advice note, therefore, provides further detail to Building Control Bodies, test laboratories and suppliers of the particular importance of testing composite doors on both sides and confirms that this advice applies to composite doors only.”

Advice Note 17 can be found here.