Landlords investigate fire door safety after tests show Grenfell doors held up half as long as expected

Doors designed to last 30 minutes were destroyed in 15, say Met Police, breaking fire door regulations.

The tests were undertaken as part of the criminal investigation into the West London blaze which killed 71 last June.

Current regulations state all fire doors must be able to withstand fire for at least thirty minutes to meet the requirements set out by British Standard BS476-22. However doors of the same type used in Grenfell Tower were destroyed in just 15 minutes, half as long as certified.

Research by magazine
Inside Housing showed 44 housing associations and councils are now in the process of verifying the safety of their fire doors since the findings of the investigation were released last week.

Five said they believed they may have doors from the same manufacturer of the Grenfell doors that failed the tests, Manse Masterdor, among their stock.

Barking and Dagenham council confirmed that some of their fire doors in use were Manse Masterdor FD30, the type that failed the most recent tests. A spokesperson for the East London authority said:

"The type of doors fitted were fire-resistance-tested by the company and met the expected 30-minute time to failure test."

However the council said it is considering upgrading its doors to those designed to withstand 60 minutes of fire. 

10 more landlords, including Optivo, Riverside and Home Group stated they plan to undertake extra checks following last week's findings. 

The Manse Masterdor FD30 doors were manufactured by Manse Masterdor in 2013. The company is no longer trading, and currently going through liquidation under a new name, having been acquired by Synseal in 2014. 

According to Inside Housing, there are numerous Manse Masterdor doors fitted throughout Kensington and Chelsea Council's housing stock, which included Grenfell Tower, and they are likely installed in many other social housing blocks elsewhere.

A survivor of the tragedy called the findings "shocking", and said more must be done to make homes safe from fire risk.

Natasha Elcock, part of the bereaved and survivors' group Grenfell United, told the Independent: "It's shocking – first the cladding and insulation then the doors, who knows what else is putting people's lives at risk. It's time people's lives are taken more seriously – and that includes everyone from every walk of life.

"People's homes must be made absolutely safe for them and their children. The Government should have improved regulations after previous fires. We can't listen to any more excuses.
"Grenfell United will not stop campaigning until the lessons of Grenfell are learnt. Nothing can bring our loved ones back but we must make sure a fire like this never happens again."

Inside Housing magazine is running its own safety campaign, Never Again, urging landlords to carry out fire risk assessments following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Scotland Yard said it was unable to comment on the test results due to the ongoing investigation. In a letter sent to survivors and families, a senior investigating officer from the Metropolitan Police, Matt Bonner, outlined the findings and added: "Independent experts have advised that the risk to public safety is low, and that evidence from the suspected issue does not change this assessment."

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said the findings were not "systemic" and risk to public safety remained low.

The government said it will provide a further update on the testing in April, after the doors have been deconstructed and the materials analysed.

Whale Fire carries out comprehensive testing for both residential and commercial buildings. For more information, email or call free on 0800 772 0738.

Types 1, 2, 3 and 4 fire risk assessments

At Whale Fire, we specialise in carrying out fire risk assessments to the common parts of purpose built and converted blocks of flats.  We can carry out type 2, type 3 and type 4 fire risk assessments should you require a more intrusive survey rather than the standard type 1 assessment.  Most fire risk assessments are limited to the common parts but we can also make entry into selected flats if you determine these are a greater risk.  We can then check the fire escape routes within the flat itself and determine the level of compartmentation and use of fire doors.  We can see whether any ducting or ventilation systems are potentially running through bathrooms and kitchens into other parts of the building without adequate fire stopping.  We can also ensure the flat is provided with smoke detection and provide any additional fire safety advice as necessary.   Whale Fire can supply Tenant Information Sheets which detail fire safety advice for residents/tenants to show how you can minimise the chances of a fire starting in your own dwelling.


We can also make opening into walls and cavities within the common parts and check the fire stopping in these areas subject to the presence of asbestos.  We have trained contractors who can visit the buildings with a qualified fire risk assessor to help with these intrusive surveys.


The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and Housing Act 2004 are the pieces of legislation used to assess the common parts and flats respectively but as stated, a fire risk assessor can gain entry into a flat as part of a type 2 or greater fire risk assessment and we can work closely with the managing agent, housing association or landlord to identify any tenants  who may be especially at risk.  Fires naturally tend to start within the flats themselves rather than the common parts because that is the space where the tenants occupy and kitchens etc., are located so it makes sense to enter a sample of these flats, make the necessary checks and provide the appropriate advice. 



Whale Fire Limited

0800 772 0738

Do you need a fire safety advisor?

Good question. This depends on a whole range of factors but generally the answer will be yes although of course it depends on what you need looking at. Most fire safety advisors are actually fire risk assessors whose job it is to advise on fire safety issues and provide recommendations on how to improve the fire precautions within your building.

All commercial premises and some residential properties should have a fire risk assessment carried out and for those with 5 or more employees, those findings should be recorded. For residential properties, it is the common areas that require a fire risk assessment and also Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). The current fire safety legislation in place is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which came into force on 1 October 2006. The Housing Act 2004 applies to flats themselves within blocks of flats or HMO’s and so it depends on the location you are asking about as to what type of fire safety advisor you require and under what piece of legislation. A fire safety advisors job is to provide guidance on a range of fire safety issues including:

?Means of escape provisions
Fire alarms
Fire training
Emergency lighting
Travel distances
Occupancy numbers
Disability procedures including PEEPS (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans)
External escape routes
Fire doors and compartmentation
Flammable materials
Cooking facilities
Building work control policies
Fire extinguishers
Fire suppression systems
Emergency plans
Record Keeping
Fire Drills
Amongst many more factors – this list is by no means exhaustive.

There will always be a ‘responsible person’ within your company, building or premises that ultimately is responsible for the fire safety precautions within your building and you should find out who that person is – it may be you!

If you are asking about whether you need a fire safety advisor for your own private dwelling, you are best going directly to your Local Authority and asking them the question, they will be able to put you in touch with a local fire safety advisor who can advise you – the legislation is different for single private dwellings.

If you are in a workplace and carrying out a minor alteration within your building that may not need the advice of a fire safety advisor but if in doubt, please feel free to email your question to

We are here to help and have a team of fire safety expects throughout the country to provide advice and a whole range of fire safety services –

Acorn Estate Agents
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The Howard deWalden Estate
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The Apartment Company
Alexander Property
Alfra TV
Carpenters Arms
Construction Youth
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Performace 18
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