Starting on Monday 14th September, Fire Door Safety Week is an initiative designed to raise awareness about how crucial fire doors are as part of the passive fire protection of every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.
With over 3 million new fire doors being bought and installed each year, they are the first line of defence against a fire and when correctly maintained can mean the different between life and death.
Regularly however, fire doors are neglected, propped open and badly maintained.
Fire Door Safety Week has been created:
- To raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
- To encourage building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and to report those that aren’t satisfactory.
- To link together the initiatives of many organisations with common interests in the fire door and passive fire protection industries.
- To engage and educate people, helping the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, employers or those who have control over a premises (known as the ‘responsible person’) are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and act on its findings. The risk assessment should also identify actions which need to be taken in order to protect the building from fire. It must be kept under constant review and amended if any changes are made to the premises.
However, since the Fire Safety Order was introduced in 2005, there continues to be a steady stream of prosecutions against all types of building owners, landlords and agents.
Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week, blames the fact that awareness of the Fire Safety Order is still far too low: “When managers with formal responsibility for fire safety in their organisations were asked last year if they were fully aware of their legal obligations, almost half (46.5%) said they either did not know what they were, or admitted they were unclear.
“A similar proportion (45%) say they really would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door – one of the most critical passive fire protection features in the buildings we use every day. This is why we run Fire Door Safety Week, to drive up awareness of the correct specification, installation and maintenance of fire doors.”
A review earlier this year undertaken by FDIS certificated fire door inspectors also revealed the extent of fire door failures being seen on site:
- Over 61% of fire doors inspected had problems with fire or smoke seals
- More than a third had incorrect signage
- 230 fire doors inspected had gaps bigger than 3mm between door and frame
- More than 20% had unsuitable hinges
- Almost 1 in 6 had damage to the door leaf