Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging building owners, landlords, managers and occupiers to check the fire doors in their buildings to ensure they meet with fire standards required. This advice comes as the British Woodworking Federation Group (BWFG) launch #FireDoorSafety Week 2021 to help raise awareness of the critical role that fire doors play in saving lives and protecting property.
Fire Door Safety Week (20th – 26th September 2021) exists to reduce fire door neglect and to educate people on the importance of fire door safety. It’s crucial to understand the factors that ensure a fire door performs as intended. Their correct specification, installation, maintenance, management and use can be the difference between life and death. A wedged or held open fire door, a damaged door, a fire door with missing components, or one replaced with a non-fire door are common failings that could cost lives.
Scott Richards, Community Protection Manager at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Fire doors are safety devices by design and are an essential part of a building’s passive fire protection system. Anyone with a responsibility for access control or building safety has a duty to ensure that fire doors are fit for purpose, as they are often the first line of defence in a building fire.
“Fire doors must be checked regularly and the more they’re used the more frequently this should be done. Anyone can spot irregularities or damage to fire doors, but if you have legal responsibility for fire safety, call in a professional. A trained person should be responsible for this maintenance work.”
Whether you are a building owner, or manager, a landlord or occupier, follow the BWFG’s ‘Five step fire door check’ below to ensure your fire doors are functioning properly, use appropriate signage to indicate fire doors and only ever replace damaged components with like-for-like ones.
- Certification: Look for a label, a plug or similar marking to show that the fire door is certificated.
- Apertures: Altering the door for glazing apertures and air transfer grilles will make certification VOID
- Gaps and Seals: Check that the gap around the door frame is a constant 3-4mm when the door is closed and CE marked hinges are firmly fixed with no missing screws. Ensure that seals are fitted to the top and sides of the door and that they are not damaged
- Closers: Check the fire door closes firmly onto the latch from any position, without sticking on the frame. Check from 75mm from the closed position
- Operation: Ensure that the door closes correctly around all parts of the frame
If you suspect the building you are living in, working in, or visiting has a faulty fire door, don’t walk by. Report it to whoever manages or owns the building. You could save a life that day.
For further advice email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01604 797000 and ask to speak to a Fire Protection Officer.