Recommendations made in a report published on the 18th December from an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety have been welcomed by the dhf (Door & Hardware Federation). The overriding implication of the report is that it must be ensured that people working on the construction and maintenance of complex buildings have the proper qualifications. Dhf’s CEO Bob Perry expressed his satisfaction and explained why his organisation’s expertise were important in this area; “We have been actively lobbying for this and are pleased to work with other bodies in the industry to achieve this objective.
“In the case of fire doors, however, the system is uniquely vulnerable to damage caused by use and abuse. This necessitates a high level of maintenance activity, which must be continually undertaken by competent persons throughout the life of the building.”
In November, the trade association pushed for more stringent building regulations and for the government to rule that all fire doors must be prepared in factories. Furthermore, they argued that the UK should follow the lead of other European countries in providing more thorough fire door maintenance procedures, as the CEO explained; “Currently, we are lagging behind our European neighbours, but the appropriate changes would bring the UK in line with many other developed nations and help to ensure that inadequate standards do not lead to tragedy, such as Grenfell.”
He went on to use France as an example for what the UK’s future building regulations could resemble . In France, it is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure all the necessary maintenance checks are completed and properly documented. Failure to document these procedures could mean that insurers can withdraw their cover, which would in turn make other building owners keen to keep up with the relevant maintenance checks.