Are your fire doors safe?

Fire doors are one of our first lines of defence when a blaze breaks out – this is why they are an essential requirement in all public buildings, offices and factories.

Fire doors are specially engineered doors and if used correctly, they stop fires from spreading through a building, giving people time to escape and the fire service time to attend and potentially save the premises. 

If a fire door is properly made by a BWF certified manufacturer, with compatible parts, and certified by an accredited third party, it should hold back a fire for 30 minutes or even longer.

It’s important that all the components of the door meet the required standards. The hinges, seals, handles and glazing are as important as the door itself.

The reason they are equally as important is that during a fire, doors can warp and move creating openings which can let through fire and smoke.

It’s important that the doors are correctly installed in the first place. Then, as with any life-saving product, they need to be regularly inspected to ensure they have not been damaged and all their seals are working correctly.

Checks should be carried out at least once every six months but doors in high traffic areas may be more susceptible to damage and should be checked once a month or even once a week, depending on usage.

Frighteningly, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) has revealed that three quarters of all fire doors inspected in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose.

Where are fire doors needed?

As well as being required in all public buildings, offices and factories there are also requirements for fire doors in certain domestic situations.

For example, you would expect to find them in flats, in situations where a door leads into an integral garage, or in any home where there is a second floor habitable room, such as houses with loft conversions.

How can I check if my fire doors are safe?

At Acorn, one of the key health and safety services that we offer are fire risk assessments.

All non-domestic properties and all communal areas of rented properties in the UK must undergo fire risk assessments and we help our clients assess their risk and then provide them with guidance and recommendations to make their property fire safe.

In addition to our fire risk assessments service, we are proud to now be able to offer another new service – fire door compliance inspections.

Our highly trained health and safety consultants Scott Murrin and Jo Doherty have both recently achieved their Fire Door Inspection Course City & Guilds accreditation.

As a result, both Scott and Jo have an in-depth understanding of all the regulations relating to fire doors and their components and can make sure your fire doors are still performing to the highest standards.

Do I need to inspect my fire doors?

It is important that fire doors are inspected properly because they can save lives and because it is a requirement under UK law.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states it is a legal requirement that fire doors should be inspected regularly and maintained in efficient working order and are in good repair.

A designated competent, ‘responsible person’ must be nominated whose duty it is to ensure this happens.

How can I help to keep people safe?

There are certain things to consider if you want your fire doors to protect people.

One of the things that we see far too often is people propping their fire doors open. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that fire doors are not going to keep anyone safe if they are left open.

The only safe way for fire doors to be held open safely is with special devices that ensure they close automatically if the fire alarm is activated.

Always ensure that fire doors are fitted by highly trained experts and if you are a landlord do not allow your tenants to replace fire doors with other doors.

Make sure that no one removes the self-closing device that is fitted to fire doors and never leave

damaged doors in use. Any damaged doors should be repaired or replaced immediately.

If you need us to carry out a fire door compliance inspection or if you need any other health and safety advice, visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.

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Request a call back from one of our expert health and safety consultants who will help you identify what you need.

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