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Hackney Council signs off £5.9million for fire door replacement programme – taking total to £25.5m

PUBLISHED: 16:36 30 October 2018

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower in Kensington. Picture: PA

The charred remains of Grenfell Tower in Kensington. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Hackney has stumped up an extra £5.9million to pay for its fire door replacement programme – taking the total expected cost for the work to £25.5m.

The cabinet last night signed off the cash, which will be used for the first phase of the project and is on top of the £20m set aside from this year’s housing capital budget.

The sprawling fire safety works began in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze 18 months ago.

About 17,000 homes are to be fitted with new front doors over the next three years, costing the council about £1,500 each.

The replacement work is being undertaken in order of priority, based on fire risk assessments.

First more than 3,700 doors in blocks of 10 storeys and higher will be replaced, as well as older doors that failed the 30-minute fire and smoke resistance testing and about 1,700 newer doors that the council believes will fail testing.

Hackney’s group director for housing Kim Wright said the council was working on the advice of the London Fire Brigade.

She said: “Their advice is that residents are at no immediate risk and the current doors provide protection and valuable escape time in the event of a fire. What we are proposing is investment in new doors that will make homes even safer.

“Fire-rated doors prevent the spread of fire and smoke. It is important to remember that the Grenfell tragedy related to the cladding on the building, which assisted the spread of the fire, and not the fire doors.”

In March police revealed flat front doors installed in Grenfell Tower – manufactured by Manse Masterdor – failed under test conditions in just 15 minutes.

Hackney has none of those doors but tested on its own stock – including two composite and one timber brand – in April. Tests on the composite doors were only undertaken on one side but the government now requires both sides to be tested.

The town hall said the manufacture has said the doors will pass the newer tests. Tests on the timber doors are being done by the government.

Officers wrote ahead of the decision: “We will continue to take all the opportunities we can to lobby for government funding to be made available to undertake all works necessary to ensure the safety of our residents.”

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