ASDMA speaks out over the importance of ensuring that fire doors are properly maintained following the fatal blaze in a Deptford tower block in which two women died. The housing manager of Lewisham Homes was fined £40,000, with additional costs of £23,407, after a guilty plea of failing to properly maintain fire doors and keep the FSO risk assessment under review.
“Fire doors offer vital protection and can make a real difference to the impact of a fire. Sadly when lives are lost due to poorly maintained fire doors it should serve as a timely reminder for landlords and residents to check their fire doors are fit for purpose.” said Ian Makins, Chairman of ASDMA (the Architectural and Specialist Door Manufacturers Association) commented. “Door repair, maintenance and replacement should be carried out by a knowledgeable specialist who has the necessary expertise”.
Lewisham Homes – who manage a proportion of the housing stock of Lewisham Council – must take measures to improve their fire safety actions after a successful prosecution brought by London Fire and Rescue Service under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (known as the FSO). The case concerned a fire on the 16th floor of a Deptford tower block in February 2011, brought before Woolwich Crown Court. The fire was started deliberately, but spread from one flat to communal areas and into an adjacent flat where two residents sadly died.
The presiding judge said that the prosecution should serve as a “wake up call” to alert all those responsible for residential buildings of the serious risks that can arise by not maintaining suitable and sufficient fire safety measures.
ASDMA have produced the highly respected ‘Best Practice Guide to Timber Fire Doors’. The guide is a vital tool for all those who are involved in the specification, procurement, installation, use and maintenance of timber fire doors and considers all the issues required to satisfy UK Building Regulations.