It’s the last week of September, but you probably already knew that. It’s also the 39th week of the year and just 89 days till Christmas, although you probably knew that as well.
But you probably weren’t aware that it’s also Fire Door Safety Week. If you did, hats off to you.
Fire Door Safety week acts as a reminder to everyone to make sure that all fire doors are in proper working order and fit for purpose. Fire doors save lives; they’re not just for box-ticking.
Here are some facts about the proper use of fire doors that you might not know:
- It is illegal to keep fire doors wedged open
- You need to carry out formal checks of your fire doors at least every six months to look for damage
- You must carry out maintenance to ensure that your fire doors continue to remain effective.
- Smoke from a fire can spread rapidly if unchecked – thick, black smoke can fill a building within minutes.
Fire Door Safety Week was established by the British Woodworking Federation and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in 2012. The idea was to raise awareness about poor installation and inadequate maintenance.
As much as it seems like overkill to have an entire week dedicated to it, the need for this awareness campaign is greater than you’d think. In fact, a review undertaken by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in 2015 found that:
- Over 61% of fire doors inspected had problems with fire/smoke seals
- More than one third of fire doors had incorrect signage
- A significant number of fire doors had a gap between the door and the frame greater than 3mm
- More than 20% of doors had unsuitable hinges
- Almost 1 in 6 had damage to the door leaf.
Fire door management is a key part of your risk management, an area of insurance that we take extremely seriously. We’re not just here to help cover against claims. We want to prevent them in the first place.
Speaking to a certified fire door inspector, or a member of our risk management team, is essential in ensuring that you are completely up to date with regulations and your doors are properly maintained and installed. Some of the issues that the professional will examine are:
- Handles that have been replaced with aluminium ones or other non-fire door related door furniture
- Locks that have been installed which have an open keyhole, not protected by intumescent material
- Ventilation panels have been installed and not suitably fire rated
- Glass has been replaced with non-fire rated glass, or has been covered over with privacy film
- Parts, such as magnetic locks, have been removed leaving holes in the doors which would allow smoke to spread through
- Hinges have become worn or misaligned, leaving gaps in the door that will allow smoke to spread through
- Intumescent seals and smoke seals that have been damaged or removed and not replaced
- Damage around the edges of the door where trollies and sack carts etc have been pushed through, leaving gaps around the edges
- Fire doors have been completely removed.
If you’d like to take the first steps to make sure your doors are compliant, get in touch today! Click that ’email us’ link at the top of this page!