Fire doors and why we should pay attention to them.

fire doors

Fire doors are crucial for ensuring safety. They act as a protective barrier, preventing the spread of fire and protecting people from its harmful effects. Despite their importance, fire door safety is often neglected or not fully understood. This blog explores the key elements of fire door safety, highlighting their vital role in saving lives and property. Fire doors only work when shut.

Purpose of Fire Doors

Fire doors have two functions; a) to resist and contain fire and smoke, b) provide a safe escape route for the people in the building. They are built to withstand fire and heat for a set number of minutes depending upon the type of door installed. This is determined by a specific rating for the door. This rating, denoted in minutes (e.g., FD30, FD60), indicates the duration for which the door can maintain its integrity and perform its protective functions in the event of a fire. Never forget it is smoke inhalation that kills or seriously injures most victims in a fire. A shut fire door allows time to escape the toxic gases a fire produces.

Fire door A Complex Structure

Fire doors are complete systems which have different parts that work together to withstand fire and smoke. These parts are the door leaf, the frame, seals, the hinges and the closing mechanism. For instance the seals expand with heat to close any gaps between the door and the frame. A fire door only works when it is shut, is properly maintained and the people in the building are aware of their locations.

Fire door Installation and Maintenance

Fire doors must be properly installed, they need regular inspections and must be maintained promptly to ensure your safety. It is essential to use qualified professionals for the installation, inspection and maintenance of your doors. You never know when your life might depend on it. Regular inspections will make sure that all the essential parts of your doors are in good condition and working properly.

Fire Door Regulation

Fire door safety is a legal obligation in the UK. The regulations state that fire doors must be installed in specific areas of a building for instance escape routes and fire risk areas. Fire door safety should be a priority to comply with UK regulations. This will mean that all the people in the building are protected and you will have minimised any legal risk should an unfortunate fire incident happen.

Fire Door Education

As well as fire door inspections regular fire drills will help educate people on the use of fire doors, it is vital that no fire door should be propped open they only work when they are shut. Fire drills will also help people become familiar with the evacuation routes in your building as well as how to properly use fire doors in an emergency.

Fire doors are more than just features in buildings; they are a safeguard against the destructive forces of fire and smoke. Know their importance, ensure correct placement and upkeep, educate your people, you will have then improved fire safety measures and reduced the chances of harm to people and property. Always use qualified professionals to inspect and maintain your fire doors.

Fire doors give you vital time to safe your life. They are your first line of defence.

We all take these doors for granted, we even prop them open sometimes, these examples, above and below, show why we should never even consider doing this.

The UK government has set specific regulations that fire doors must meet. These regulations are designed to ensure that fire doors can withstand the impact of fire and heat for a certain length of time, allowing occupants time to evacuate safely. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to legal action, fines, or even imprisonment in the event of a serious fire.

Sometimes we assume that a fire door is a fire door when it isn’t. We at Acorn Safety Services have seen many examples of this. Do you know the difference and how to check this?

At Acorn Safety Services we specialise in Fire Safety Inspections so that you and your employees can have peace of mind.


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To deliver the highest levels of fire safety and fire door inspections to our clients across the UK, we ensure that our company meets the requirements of the association and relevant health and safety organisations.

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Fire photographs courtesy of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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