Skip to main content

Health and Safety Javid downplays the importance of fire safety doors

LABOUR shadow housing minister Tony Lloyd said today he was “astounded” by Sajid Javid’s comments that there was a low risk to the public from faulty fire-resistant doors used in Grenfell Tower.

The Metropolitan Police has revealed that three front doors from flats inside the tragic tower held back fire for 15 minutes when they were supposed to resist a blaze for 30.

In a Commons statement, Housing Secretary Mr Javid said the government had ordered more tests to be carried out and added that there was “no evidence that this is a systemic issue.”

Mr Lloyd told MPs: “The Metropolitan Police considered that this test result might have wider implications for public safety and consequently alerted [Mr Javid’s] department.

“The Secretary of State then went on to say that there is no evidence that this is a systemic issue. I was astounded by this.

“If this isn’t systemic, what assessment has been made of how many buildings are potentially affected by this, how many individual flats, how many people who have fire doors that simply don’t do the job?”

He added that the government must work with a “real sense of urgency” to get to the bottom of the issue on behalf of tower block residents across the country.

Mr Lloyd also highlighted that, nine months after the Grenfell fire which killed 71 people last June, only seven out of 300 tower blocks identified as having the dangerous cladding had it removed.

“This is simply not good enough,” he said.

Natasha Elcock, a survivor from the tower and a representative of the bereaved and survivors’ group Grenfell United, said: “It’s shocking — first the cladding and insulation then the doors. Who knows what else is putting people’s lives at risk?

“People’s homes must be made absolutely safe for them and their children. The government should have improved regulations after previous fires. We can’t listen to any more excuses.

“Grenfell United will not stop campaigning until the lessons of Grenfell are learned. Nothing can bring our loved ones back, but we must make sure a fire like this never happens again.”

The doors, manufactured by Manse Masterdor, were installed between 2011 and 2012. Since then, the company has been taken over by Synseal, which said that the doors in question were no longer being sold.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,087
We need:£ 7,931
9 Days remaining
Donate today