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Having concerns about the shoddy workmanship of a company fitting new doors in the block of flats I live in,that is front door to flat,corridor doors,stairwell doors,shuteroom doors and storage cupboard,I purchased a gap gauge from Safelincs.When I used the gauge I was surprised to find that the gap on the two corridor doors on my floor was so big it virtually swallowed the gap gauge.Out of ten stairwell doors seven of those doors had an incorrect door gap.

  So simple question,should I be concerned or just simply ignore it.

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Hi Gordon

I assume this large gap is on the top or sides of the door? The gap gauge is not used for the space underneath the fire door.

If this large gap is around the sides and top there is indeed a problem and the doors are most likely incorrectly fitted.

Harry

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Afternoon Harry,

     Many thanks for your reply.The incorrect gap is on the top and sides of the doors.Some of the doors have what I would call an inconsistant gap.By that I mean that at some point the gap is at the recommended gap and the rest of the door the gap is incorrect. From my observations with regards the workmanship I do not think the company carrying out the work has had a job on such a scale. They have maybe fitted the occasional fire door but not a block of flats with 60 flats. As there are three blocks that is 180 flats,which means a lot of doors.

Gordon.

 

 

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Hi Harry,

   The new fire doors have indeed been fitted into existing frames.With regards drawing attention to the problem that is a problem itself.The Asset Manager who is responsible for the project has thanked me for my concerns about safety for tenants but has no wish to correspond with me. So I got in touch with the Fire and Rescue services and a member has sent photos to the Housing Trust. Do not know whether this is because of the photos, but last week two workmen were removing the plain intumescent seal on one door and replaced it with a fire and smoke seal. As an example of how bad the company are,it took three weeks before numbers were put in place on front doors.When I questioned why was told,tenants should know where they live by now.

 

   Gordon.

 

 

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Followed Tom's advice and wrote to the Fire and Rescue headquarters in Winsford Cheshire.Then received a visit from two members of the service one of whom was a Fire Safety Inspector.He told me he would walk down to every floor and check out all doors.

   Then two weeks later I just could not believe what I was seeing.There was a workman using a plane to shave off both the side and top of the door frame.Bearing in mind the fact that ninety per cent of the doors had an incorrect gap, which was over four mm, shaving the door frame is not going to decrease the gap. Not only that but how can you guarantee that you are shaving off the same amount from the whole length of the frame.On the top of the frame you can still see white paint near to the hinged side of the door.

   This whole project has been farcical.

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With regards your advice Tom to keep inspecting officer up to date,so far it has been a waste of time.On 2 occasions the same fireman has been across and on both occasions has made a remark that staggered me.On his first visit on showing him that the gap qauge could not be used on the hinged side of a fire door,he remarked and I quote (,I would think no gap would be better than too wide a gap).On that first visit I told him there was no signage on 4 corridor doors and none on ground floor doors.After 3 weeks and no signs on the 4 corridor doors I went out and purchased 4 signs and fitted them myself.On his second visit he commented on the fact that he now see's that signs have been put on ground floor doors.He then went on to say and I quote,(There is no sign on the door to the mobility scooter room )..When he said that I was in a state of disbelief.The mobility scooter room does not need a sign as that door is an automatic door opened with a fob.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     About 6 weeks ago there was a fire on the 6th floor in the block of flats I live in and I was surprised to find that instead of using the dry riser on that floor they were using the dry riser on a lower floor.As I was walking down the stairwell I spotted this and was alarmed to see the self closing stairwell door passing clear over the flat hose which had been passed through.When a fireman then turned on water supply it got as far as the door but could not go any further than the bottom of the door.A fireman coming back up the stairs on seeing this problem yanked on the door handle and pulled it clean off.I did not wait around to see what happened next.                                                                                                                                                         So as a concerned tenant is there a company in the North West who would carry out a fire safety assessment for someone like myself.So long as the charge is not a ridiculous one I would be willing, just to get piece of mind pay it myself.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If there was such a company they would not need to inspect every floor as they would only need to inspect at the most 2 floors as all corridor doors have an incorrect gap.That is all 20 doors. Many thanks in advance Tom.

 

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Regarding the operational incident you remarked on, it is normal procedure to set up a bridge head on a lower floor and keep the fire floor clear for firefighting. As for the hose getting stuck under the door, problems regularly happen and has to be resolved quite often with damage occurring. I am afraid being involved in a fire is not a pleasant situation and quite often leaves problems to be resolved.

As for the fire safety officer's visit I can understand your concerns and you could complain to the senior fire safety officer at headquarters to see what he/she comes up with.

If it is the fire doors you are concerned with you could contact Fire Door Inspection Service and have them inspected, getting a full m report on each door which you could give to the SFSO to ask him/her what they will do.

If you still want a fire risk assessor you can surf the web in your local area, using  A Guide to Choosing a Competent Fire Risk Assessor to ensure you get a competent person.

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Guest Gordon Davies

Afternoon Tom,

  You lasted posted a reply to me in November of 2019.This was in reply to my concerns about the fitting of new fire doors.Because of this awful virus I have kept things in the back ground so to speak.However I had a call from a member of the Fire and Rescue Services about my continuing concerns about the doors.It is hard to believe but all corridor doors of which there are 20 have an incorrect gap.One door does not even have an intumescent seal in place.On one door the intumescent seal has been secured with panel pins. What I would like to know Tom is this acceptable.

Regards.

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The member of the Fire and Rescue Services will be the enforcing officer and I would suggest you speak to him/her and get their response in writing.

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