Fire Doors must not be neglected

Fire Doors must not be neglected


Fire Door Safety Week began this week and will be running through until this Friday. We strongly support this initiative which aims to stamp out a legacy of fire door neglect which threatens the safety of many residents in the UK.  

Research conducted for the week by the British Woodworking Federation, who are behind the campaign, showed a worrying 60% of UK local authorities surveyed planning on delays to fire door maintenance and replacement in the first half of 2020. While most reported they would commence this work by the end of the year, almost a third of local authorities stated they are yet to define a date. The commercial sector is unlikely to be any better.

Fire Doors are an incredibly important form of passive fire protection which can save lives. The neglect of this safety feature, the slow progress on replacing flammable cladding on buildings over 18 metres – along with the scapegoating of structural timber we campaigned against earlier this year – remain a stain on the Government’s efforts to improve fire safety. This is serious business.

Meanwhile, today an announcement from the Prime Minister imposed tougher sanctions and lockdown measures for six months, including greater limitations on private gatherings, and the introduction of 10pm closing time for the hospitality industry. The Government has also advised that employees should work from home where possible.

It is important the Government keeps close track of the virus and reacts appropriately to any projected surges. However, we need to have a more nuanced and long term, transparent approach which lets businesses plan ahead. We will let you know of any developments, and we would also like to remind all of upcoming changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As seen below:

From 1 October HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work. Continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.  

Currently the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is due to end on 31 October 2020. There is yet to be news of whether this scheme will be extended or replaced.

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