Blackstock Estate fire door installation stopped in wake of safety tests as firm's link to Grenfell is revealed
PUBLISHED: 13:52 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 20 August 2018
Installation of new "fire safety" doors on a Highbury estate has been halted in the wake of government safety tests - amid links between the contractor and Grenfell.
Tenants on the Blackstock Estate were told last year their front doors would be replaced as part of planned maintenance works.
The flats already met fire safety regulation standards with the old doors, but the town hall decided to take extra precautions and install what it called “fire safety doors” anyway.
Halfway through the process, however, tenants discovered what they thought was a link between the contractor installing the doors – Masterdor – and the Grenfell Tower blaze.
The company, at the time known as Manse Masterdor, installed the Grenfell doors in 2011 and 2012. It was bought out by Synseal in 2014 and is now run as a subsidiary. Synseal says it had no involvement with Grenfell.
Last month the government announced Synseal was removing Masterdor’s composite and timber doors from the market following tests. Islington says they are not the same doors as the ones being installed on the estate, but for some reason paused the programme anyway in the wake of the news.
Barbara Chapman is chair of the Blackstock Estate TMO and said the project had been a mess.
“They were doing it across the five blocks but it’s all stopped,” she said. “And there’s something wrong with the locks of the new doors too. One gentleman told me his wife had to sleep outside their flat because the mechanism wasn’t working. Another person can’t shut their door. I find it really disgusting.”
A town hall spokesperson said: “As part of planned programme of maintenance it was decided existing flat front entrance doors would be replaced with new fire safety doors. This isn’t a requirement on this estate, as these properties already met fire safety regulations with the existing type of doors, but we instructed our contractor to install them as an additional precaution.
“We’ve now paused the installation programme following recent news about testing carried out on another type of fire door.”