Missing fire barriers in new-build homes raises concerns over training

House builders are being urged to heed lessons from a BBC investigation that found fire barriers were missing or incorrectly installed on several new-build homes.

Unsurprisingly, experts estimate that fire and smoke can spread five to 10 times faster without fire barriers, which form a complete seal between different areas of a home.

The BBC Watchdog Live team discovered that a number of new-builds constructed by Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes were sold with fire barriers either fitted wrongly or missing entirely.

“The BBC’s Watchdog discovered serious breaches that had gone undetected during the construction process, leaving homes and lives potentially at risk in the event of a fire,” said Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens, commercial manager at the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF), a trade body representing locks and building hardware, doorsets, industrial doors and shutters, domestic garage doors and automated gates.

  • Bellway Homes responded to the investigation with a statement saying it was “committed to improvement” and had introduced mandatory training on fire-stopping and other areas of fire safety for all relevant construction staff.

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