It’s Fire Door Safety Week from 20th – 26th September. First launched in 2013 in response to a legacy of fire door neglect, Fire Door Safety Week is an awareness campaign to increase everyone’s understanding of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property.
The Fire Door Safety Week campaign is managed by the British Woodworking Federation and is supported partner organisations, including the Home Office’s National Fire Safety campaign, the National Fire Chief’s council, and London Fire Brigade.
The main objective of the campaign is to:
- Raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance
- Encourage building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and to report those that aren’t satisfactory
- Help the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of Fire Doors.
The correct specification, maintenance, and management of fire doors can be the difference between life and death for building occupants, as can their use. Propping a fire door open means that they won’t perform as they should in the event of a fire.
Everyone plays their part in ensuring a fire door performs as it should from the manufacturer through to the building users. Tenants and residents need to have confidence in them and have clear guidance about fire safety plans and measures, and be able to report concerns -such as fire doors that are ill-fitted, damaged, or poorly maintained - that are then actioned
There are some simple checks you can undertake depending on whether you are a building owner, or manager, landlord or occupier:
Certification: Look for a label or plug on top (or sometimes the side) of the door. No certification mark means you can’t be sure this is really a fire door.
Gaps: Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when the door is closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm) but ideally you should not see light under the door. Gaps that are too big may allow smoke and fire to travel through the cracks.
Seals: Look for any intumescent seals around the door or frame. Check that they are intact with no sign of damage. These seals will expand if they are in contact with heat and will stop the fire (and in some cases the smoke) coming through the cracks.
Hinges: Check all hinges are firmly fixed (three or more of them) with no missing or broken screws.
Closing properly: Check the door closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame. A fire door only works when its closed. It is completely useless if its wedged open or can’t close completely.
For more information on the importance on the Fire Door Safety Week campaign, visit https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/
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