From 26th September until 2nd October, fire safety experts across the country are strengthening their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of fire doors.
Approximately 3 million new fire doors are bought and installed each year in the UK, but more needs to be done to ensure these essential fire safety tools are being used correctly.
Far too often, fire doors are installed incorrectly, propped open or overlooked completely. Let’s take a look at the importance of fire doors:
Why are fire doors so important?
Fire doors play a vital role in preventing the spread of fire in commercial, public and multiple occupancy buildings.
A fire door can significantly slow down the amount of time it takes for a fire to spread through a building. By slowing the fire down, people have more time to escape or wait for the fire service to arrive. In many cases, a fire door can be the difference between life and death.
Where do fire doors need to be installed?
Fire doors must be installed in the following places:
- Private rented housing with multiple occupants
- Council and social housing
- Care homes and sheltered housing
- Offices, shops and industrial units
- Schools, universities and colleges,
- Hotels and guest houses
- Hospitals and health centres
- Public buildings
How to carry out a 5 step check
The organisers behind Fire Door Safety Week have issued a 5 step guide to checking your fire doors.
- Check for certification – Ensure that your fire door is certified by looking for a label or plug on the door. This will usually be found towards the top of the door.
- Check the gaps – Make sure the gaps around the edges of the door are less than 4mm when closed. Use a £1 coin (around 3mm thick) to determine the size of the gaps. The gap at the bottom of the door can be slightly larger (8mm) than the gaps at the top and sides.
- Check the seals – If there are seals around the door or frame, ensure there are no signs of damage.
- Check the hinges – Are the hinges secure? Are all screws in place and accounted for? If the door is not secure, it may struggle to do its job in the event of a fire.
- Check the door closes properly – A fire door should close by itself without getting caught on the carpet or frame. If the door does not close independently, it’s ineffective and will need to be fixed.
If you’d like any help ensuring your premises are safe from fire, please get in touch with the team at Total Fire Services. We specialise in helping businesses large and small conduct fire risk assessments, improve safety standards and protect staff and customers.