For years, weak and fragmented legislation, combined with poor skills and control in construction and maintenance have undermined installation and failed to address inadequacies in inspection and maintenance regimes. We believe that there is a very deep-rooted problem and that many fire doors would struggle to halt the spread of major fire.
Through the Fire Door Scheme (BWF Certifire), Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) and the Fire Door Safety Week campaign, it has raised a lot of important awareness about the critical role that fire doors play in protecting occupants, buildings and fire fighters and to draw attention to the legacy of neglect. Too many people don’t give fire doors a second thought, and forget that their real job is to provide a barrier to fire, prevent it spreading throughout a building and keep escape and access routes clear.
The fire door is a system of components that all must be tested and work together to prevent failure. Getting just one small detail wrong can have an enormous impact. We regularly see fire doors that have been compromised by the use of uncertificated, incompatible and non-fire-resistant components, poor fitting and inadequate maintenance, and of course if a fire door is wedged open it’s no use whatsoever. It is vital the door is installed by competent people and there is full traceability of the products so that those who hold legal and moral responsibility for managing fire safety can ensure specification is not broken, and the doors can be managed properly to remain safe throughout their life span.
What happens if you the installation is wrong or poorly maintained?
Manufacturing, installing or maintaining fire doors incorrectly results in 5 main Risks:
- Danger for users of the building and possible loss of life
- Danger for emergency services responding to a fire
- You could be prosecuted with a fine or imprisonment
- Property and possessions will not be protected
- Risk to reputation
What do fire doors actually do?
Fire doors act as a barrier to a fire, cutting off and protecting parts of a building. They:-
- Reduce the damage caused by fire and smoke
- Protect route of evacuation
- Provide the emergency services with a protected route to access the building
- Protect users of a building who may have difficulty
Where should fire doors be fitted?
Fire Doors are required in almost every building built in the UK according to the relevant national fire safety regulations. Requirement, rating and location of fire doors is different for different types of buildings and is based on:
- Guidance in the relevant building regulations.
- The overall fire risk assessment (if applicable) and plan, including escape routes.
It should be noted that beyond regulation specification also drives requirement and insurance companies often place specific fire door requirements on projects.