Last Friday the 13th was the Government’s crucial deadline for providing responses to the call in their document of 12th September for evidence on fire safety in buildings. The Government’s regulatory review is now under way – the first serious review of its kind, launched as part of the response to the Grenfell Tower catastrophe, to explore the various factors that fundamentally affect the development and robustness of fire safety as it works out, in practice.
ASDMA’s response is a detailed contribution, on behalf of the specialist custom-made door sector. Included are 20 pages of in-depth replies, packed with recommendations and suggested solutions, to the 10 broad questions posed by Government. There is also a further 6-page summary of the dominant themes as seen by ASDMA that touch on vulnerability of the overall regulatory system to the possibility of systemic failures.
Our submission is founded on the collected experiences of members; and it reflects a great deal of concern about fire safety, with a commitment to pinpoint systemic failings and contribute to improvements. We are grateful to our members for providing the insights that can only come from first-hand experience of providing fire safety products and services, and we could not have responded as we did without their contributions.
Top of ASDMA’s priorities is the crucial need now for obligatory third-party certification of products and product systems which have a prime fire safety function, to ensure complete confidence and trust in declared performances that touch on fire safety. Third-party certification is also advocated for installers and those who carry out subsequent maintenance and repair work after installation.
Second, and close behind, is the need for a professional specifier, an architect or engineer, to take full responsibility for keeping and implementing the fire safety performance specification along the supply-procurement-construction chain through to building completion and handover. It is critically important to reduce the risks of compromise, or dumbing down of performance, especially to check that product substitutions maintain intended levels of fire safety. That responsibility should also include an obligation, together with the main contractor, to sign off on completion that the specification as installed is suitable and sufficient, in line with the original design performance specification for the building.
Third priority, is the need for much better knowledge and awareness of products and associated fire safety principles. ASDMA pledges to play its part, by continuing to provide considered best practice guidance concerning fit-for-purpose fire door assemblies with smoke control and fire resistance properties, the key fire safety and design principles that apply, and the core technical considerations that are necessary in combining fire safety with other important properties such as security, acoustic insulation, ease of access and door use. www.asdma.com “Knowledge Centre”.
Download our conclusion here: