Grenfell report shows developers can’t compromise on ironmongery for fire doors, warns industry expert

Ironmongery specialists A Perry & Co have urged property developers to consider the importance of high quality fire door furniture in the wake of new research commissioned by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) following the Grenfell Tower disaster.  Researchers raised many concerns about the current fire safety testing process – meaning that in order to keep residents safe, developers need to focus on maximising and improving the protection given by fire doors – and that includes the ironmongery used on them.

Current safety testing excludes plastic – yet it makes up 20% of materials in domestic fires

The ABI report found that the tests currently used for checking the fire safety of building materials are inadequate.  Tests conducted by the Fire Protection Association found that a fire created by burning plastics reaches temperatures 100°C above those in the industry test. ‘Test’ fires for buildings are only carried out using wood, but in modern homes there is a mix of materials – and plastic makes up 20 per cent of the materials found  in actual fires.

The report has left insurers pressing for urgent reforms to the safety testing process, and A Perry, a leading, independent, family-owned British manufacturer and supplier of hinges, hardware, ironmongery, chain and threaded bar, is concerned that constructors in the past may have been tempted to use inferior fire door ironmongery in order to cut costs.

Industry specialist reduces cost of fire safety range to ‘remove temptation’ to skimp on safety

Ian Dunnaker, company director at A Perry & Co (Hinges) Ltd, says that in the wake of Grenfell, his company have worked hard to reduce the cost of the certified fire safety products to remove the temptation for builders to skimp on safety.  He says:

“Over the last 12 months, A Perry has worked tirelessly to bring the most competitive range of CE Marked and CERTIFIRE approved fire door ironmongery to market. The price differentials between the new PerryShield range of hinges and standard ‘non-certified’ hinges are now minimal. This means customers can confidently select fire safety products without compromising on safety and security, and without risking rising costs.”    

“Adhesion to budgets is dominant in the fire rated product sector. Traditionally, here is where corners have been cut, as price points have dictated that ironmongery has to be affordable and meet stringent cost criteria. Yet, as we know from recent catastrophes, it’s imperative that the safety and security of products is paramount.         

Using the right products could give residents up to 120 minutes more safety 

A Perry & Co’s new CE Marked and CERTIFIRE Approved PerryShield fire door ironmongery provides a complete, integrated, fire rated range of door hinges, locks and latches, and intumescent protection kits, designed at a price point that enables specifiers to fit fire approved ironmongery onto applications without having to worry about spiralling costs.

The high-quality fire-resistant door hardware and intumescent kits are designed to ensure there is no compromise to fire door integrity in an emergency, providing a fire rating of either 30, 60 or 120 minutes.

Fire Door Hinges

The hinges, which come in 10 different finishes ranging from antique brass to nickel plated, are suitable for any application whether light domestic or heavy commercial use. They fit all door furniture meaning that only the existing hinges will have to be replaced. For doors weighing up to 40kg, The Grade 7 CE marked and CERTIFIRE approved hinges are most suitable, and Grade 13 are suitable for doors weighing up to 120kg.

Fire Rated Locks and Latches

An integral part of the new PerryShield range are the premium tubular mortice latches that are essential to help prevent the spread of fire by ensuring the door remains closed in its frame. The latches are CE Marked and CERTIFIRE Approved for up to 30 minutes. The 3 lever Sashlocks and 3 lever deadlocks are CE Marked and CERTIFIRE Approved for up to 60 minutes.

Continuing the ethos of supplying only high-quality products, PerryShield latch mechanisms are tested to over 200,000 cycles.

Intumescent Protection Kits

The PerryShield Intumescent Kits are made from a sheet of an ultra-thin and flexible high performance intumescent material. The 0.8mm sheet contains intercalated graphite providing up to 60 minutes of fire protection and offers prominent levels of expansion and insulation. This prevents heat transfer when fitted on ironmongery and rebated into timber door sets.

Each kit is pre-cut to the right dimensions, for quick, clean and easy fitting, matching accurately the hinge, latch or lock it is designed for.

All intumescent products are immune to moisture, humidity, atmospheric pollution or common industrial and household chemical substances. The kits have also been extensively tested to the latest British/European Standards BS.476 Part 22: 1987 30/60 min rated & BS EN 1634-1:2014 30/60 min.

Layering can give up to 240 minutes

In some cases, if the kits are used in multiple layers, they can provide protection for up to 240 minutes – precious time that could have saved many lives at Grenfell.   While many reasons exist for what happened that day, time was a key factor in the huge loss of life.  The fire had spread so fast, the fire brigade arrived within just 6 minutes of the first calls to find the whole tower ablaze.

It’s a nightmare which will haunt property developers – the good news is that many within the fire safety industry are doing their utmost to ensure it never happens again.

For more information on the PerryShield range, please visit www.perrytrade.co.uk or call on 01384 414001.

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