Fire Doors To Be Replaced In Tower Next To Grenfell After LBC Showed They Were Flammable

9 November 2017, 07:48

Every front door in the tower block next to Grenfell is to be replaced or upgraded after an LBC investigation found the fire doors are flammable.

In September, LBC reporter Rachael Venables went to Whitstable House with a Arnold Tarling, a fire safety expert who contributed to the report on the Lakanhal House fire.

He told us that the expanding pink foam that was used around the fire doors was actually flammable. When Rachael asked why it was used, his response was chilling: "Because it is cheap."

The fire instructions in the building next to Grenfell Tower
The fire instructions in the building next to Grenfell Tower. Picture: PA / LBC

Arnold found a series of other problems, including insecure rubbish chutes running all the way up the building and fire escapes with doors so heavy and stiff, they were inaccessible to disabled people.

He said the fire door, which has been there for three years or more, was made of "PVC Architrave, which burns incredibly well, followed by expanding foam, which doesn't work and is not even fire rated.

"It's sickens me, because the doors should be installed by people who know what they are doing. It should be properly finished off with a mastic which expands in a fire, and doesn't burn. It shouldn't be finished off with a flammable plastic and a foam that doesn't work. It's completely wrong."

Michelle lives in the flat with her daughter. She allowed us to inspect the flat, and was visibly shaken and upset when we showed her the gaps in the fire door she thought was safe.

The gap in the fire door that makes the building unsafe
The gap in the fire door that makes the building unsafe. Picture: LBC

She recently had a stroke and struggles to use the heavy doors into the stairwell which she would need access in the event of a fire. She was the one of first people to call 999 when the Grenfell fire started, and says this news is terrifying.

She said: "People are at risk if there was another fire here, that it's supposed to protect you but it's not... it's quite shocking to see.

"I'm quite shocked, knowing that is above your head, so every time you walk through your door you know it's there."

Following our investigation, the Kensington and Chelsea TMO, who manage the building, say 6,500 front doors are being inspected.

Yesterday, Michelle received this letter, admitting that the door was not fully fire-rated.

The letter showing the council are replacing doors in the tower next to Grenfell
The letter showing the council are replacing doors in the tower next to Grenfell. Picture: LBC

It says: "These inspections have revealed that further works are required to fit upgraded fire-rated features, such as letter boxes, door closures, door surroundings and in some instances, a new door."

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