Are you aware of the critical role fire doors play?
Fire Door Safety Week aims to raise awareness about the importance of fire doors in every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.
Significant financial losses of fire
We are frequently learning about devastation to buildings, stock and consequently profit brought about by fire: the Horlborn underground fire and the Asos warehouse in Barnsley are recent examples although thankfully no lives were lost or serious injury sustained, the costs incurred were significant.
70% of businesses would be forced to close within 3 years of a fire occurring; for companies that can survive a fire but don’t have robust business continuity programmes in place, the financial consequences of reduced productivity, lost inventory, make recovery so much harder.
Organisations have a legal responsibility (as dictated in the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order RRFSO) to appoint a responsible person to carry out a fire safety risk assessment, implement and maintain a fire management plan. Article 18 of the RRFSO requires the responsible person to appoint competent persons to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures including checking fire doors. (The NEBOSH Fire Certificate will equip you with the legal requirements.)
Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire. Therefore their correct specification, maintenance and management can make the difference between life and death for building occupants. However fire doors can often be the first thing to be downgraded on a specification, mismanaged and badly maintained throughout their service life.
If you are a property owner or responsible for fire safety or have an active interest in protecting people and properties, make sure you understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors in your building.
5 checkpoints for fire door safety
- Certification: Look for a label, a plug or similar marking to show that it’s certificated & follow the instructions.
- Apertures: altering the door for glazing apertures and air transfer grilles will make certification VOID.
- Gaps and seals: check the gap around the door frame is constant and around 3 to 4 mm & CE Marked hinges are firmly fixed with no missing screws. Ensure seals are fitted at the top and sides of the door.
- Closers: check that the closer shuts the door onto the latch from any position – check from 75mm from the closed position.
- Operation: ensure the door closes correctly around all parts of the frame.
New campaign for 2016: #ClickItKick
Don’t wedge fire doors open; if you see a fire door wedged open take a photo (Click It) and share it on social media using the hashtag #ClickItKick, and then kick the wedge away and report it to the building owner or manager.
Find out more about fire safety