NEWS 26/11/18 BY PETER APPS
Further evidence about poor-quality fire doors and failures of compartmentation was raised at today’s Grenfell Inquiry in central London.
Dr Barbara Lane, who has produced a lengthy expert report for the inquiry and gave evidence last week, appeared before the inquiry again today to address further evidence points.
She began with a discussion of the fire doors in the tower – telling the inquiry that 106 of the 120 doors in the tower were replaced with a ‘Masterdor Suredor’ made by Manse Masterdor in a replacement programme that began in 2011.
These new fire doors have already been the subject of serious scrutiny, with many residents having also reported to the inquiry that their ‘self-closers’ were either missing or broken, meaning many were left open on the night of the blaze causing toxic smoke to pour into the lobbies and stairwells.
The police also revealed in March that they did not meet the legal minimum standard of 30 minutes’ fire resistance – despite having been tested to this standard before being sold.
Dr Lane told the inquiry today that the doors installed in Grenfell Tower differed from the product tested by the manufacturer before sale in several keyways.
She said the ‘hardware’ (such as locks and letter boxes) was different from the tested door.
“If you want to use the phrase ‘getting the door through the test’ it [the hardware] is a sensitive business. Any piece of metal, locks, letter boxes may act as heat spread route, flame spread route, hot smoke route and cause the door to fail,” she said.
Inside Housing analysis of survivors’ statements suggests self-closers were missing or broken in 56% of the flats in the tower.
The inquiry continues.
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