21st-27th of September marks Fire Door Safety Week, a week to raise awareness around a critical element of passive fire safety. Fire doors a part of the furniture in public buildings, our homes and other residential buildings. Most members of the public see fire doors all the time, but don't truly appreciate how much thought and strategic planning goes into fire doors, and how vitally important they are to our safety.

Fire Door Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of fire doors to those who are responsible for maintaining buildings, homes or other public building, as part of your wider fire safety responsibilities.

A recent report by the Fire Door Safety Week campaign highlights the impact of Covid-19. All public services have been extremely stretched  this year, with most Local Authority resources being diverted to fight the spread of Coronavirus.

The report shows that maintenance, inspection and other work on fire doors has suffered as a result of the pandemic.

  • 60% of local authorities delayed fire door maintenance and inspection programme during the first half of 2020
  • 53% of local authorities have cited COVID-19 as a reason for delays
  • 65% of local authorities experiencing delays plan to recommence works by the end of 2020

Findings show that since the Coronavirus pandemic has taken hold, doors have been wedged open as people want to limit contact with surfaces and handles as much as possible. At FireRite, we can install electronic door retainers linked to the fire alarm to overcome this.

It's important to remember that the risk of fire has not gone away just because we are dealing with a different risk. In fact, it's more important than it's ever been to ensure that people are kept safe and keep pressure away from the emergency services.

What you need to know about Fire Doors

Here's some general information and advice about fire doors:

Fire Doors are not just for high rise buildings

It's not just high-rise buildings and hotel corridors that need fire doors. Fire Doors are prevalent in pretty much any sector and building including care homes, hospitals, schools and specialist housing.

Fire Doors prevent fire and smoke from spreading

A fire door is an internal fire door that can slow fire or smoke from spreading throughout a building, allowing more time for evacuation. It's not to be confused with a fire escape exit, which allows people to safely evacuate.

Fire Doors keep us safe

A well-maintained fire door that's being used correctly can delay smoke and flames from spreading. Fire doors usually consist of a solid timber frame and fire-resistant glass, that can withstand considerable exposure to heat.

We can inspect your Fire Doors virtually

In instances where social distancing is critical, our virtual fire risk assessment can help ensure fire safety is not impacted by the latest Covid-19 regulations, whilst keeping staff and vulnerable people safe at the same time.

FireRite now offer a virtual fire risk assessment tool for care homes and other businesses who need one, which includes fire door inspections. In these unprecedented times, access to your premises may be restricted to protect staff and occupants, but it's equally as important to everyone's safety that fire doors are regularly checked.

How to check your Fire Door during Fire Safety Door Week

Want to check your building's fire door meets modern safety standards? Here's how!

First of all, if you suspect the building you’re living, working or visiting has a faulty door, report it to whoever manages or owns the building as soon as possible. Then, make sure you follow up within a week to make sure they've taken the necessary action.

The 5 Step Fire Door Check

You can also perform a basic inspection of fire doors in your building or workplace using the 5 Step Fire Door Checklist.

You should check:

  1. Certification - does the door, its locks, hinges, latches and closes have CE-marked labels? Are the instructions clearly printed on the label?
  2. Apertures - has the door been altered with glazing apertured or air ventilation grilles?
  3. Gaps & seals - is the gap around the door frame consistent at 3-4mm? Are the hinges firmly in place? They should not be loose or missing any screws.
  4. Closers - Does the automatic door closer work correctly from any position?
  5. Operation - Does the door fully close within the frame? Is it kept closed and not permanently propped open?

Download a copy of the checklist from Fire Door Safety Week.

FireRite's Fire Door Testing Tool

Have you seen our handy Fire door tool guide? We have an accurate tool that can test your fire door by accurately measuring the gap between the door and the frame, as well as several other aspects of the door's safety including:

  • A card, 3mm in depth to check the Gap tolerance around the door
  • A mirror to check the fire door label which is usually located on topof the door
  • A tape measure to check the depth of the door: FD30 door is 44mm, FD60 door is 54mm
  • Information a door inspector would require including Firerite’s details for a certified solution

Firerite's Fire Door Testing Tool

As with any other life-saving product, a fire door should be checked regularly to ensure it functions correctly and is ready to use. Having fire doors installed is not something you can tick-off and then forget about. They need regular maintenance to function properly.

Fire doors are a passive form of fire protection, but they need testing in the same way that active fire protection methods are. It's common to test your building's fire alarms on a regular basis, but how often do you thoroughly check the doors?

Learn more about the different between passive and active fire protection.

Periodic checks should be carried out at least every six months, or more regularly depending on the traffic using the door. Fire doors must be maintained correctly in line with the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety).

In the spirit of Fire Door Safety week, now is the perfect time to check the fire doors in your premises! If you need any support, contact one of our expert fire safety consultants. Firerite are FIRAS Certified to install and maintain fire doors, get in touch with us today!

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