Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire, especially when we are asleep and at our most vulnerable. Monday 23 September marks the start of Fire Door Safety Week 2019 – led by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), BWF-Certifire scheme, BWF Fire Door Alliance and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme.
The correct specification, installation, maintenance and management of fire doors can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Despite this, fire door breaches remain one of the most common fines implemented under the Fire Safety Order, with common problems ranging from doors being wedged open, missing or damaged doors or even non-fire doors being installed in their place.
As part of the Fire Kills campaign, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) are proud to be supporting Fire Door Safety Week (23-29 September 2019) and encouraging building managers, landlords, tenants and all building users in Warwickshire to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and repair (if possible) or report those that aren’t satisfactory.
Roland Bayley, Group Commander of Fire Protection at Warwickshire County Council Said said:
“It cannot be underestimated the difference that an effective fire door can make. A fire door is not always a fire exit door and is typically identified by a blue ‘FIRE DOOR KEEP SHUT’ sign often at eye level.
“Fire doors are an essential part of our fire protection, they help to compartmentalise a building, such as a block of flats, keeping fire and smoke trapped for a while in one area, so that the fire can be tackled, and people can be safely evacuated.
“If you’ve seen a damaged fire door or know of a flat entrance door that hasn’t been checked for fire performance, report it to your landlord or building manager straight away and if you see a fire door propped open, make sure you shut it – a fire door cannot work when open.”
Cllr Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety said:
“If you spot that your home or building has a faulty fire door, don’t ignore it! Faulty fire doors won’t work to stop a fire spreading so report it to whoever manages or owns the building.
“There are just a few simple steps to check the condition of a fire door so I would urge everyone across Warwickshire to check any fire doors in their property or the homes of loved ones.
“It only takes a few moments and you could save a life.”
Fire doors can save lives but only if they are working properly, so WFRS are sharing tips on how to check the safety of fire doors in properties to reduce the risk of a fire spreading, particularly while occupants are sleeping:
Check for certification – Is there a label or plug on top (or occasionally on the side) of the door to show it is a certificated fire door?
Check the gaps – Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when closed.
Check the seals – Are there any intumescent seals around the door or frame, and are they intact with no sign of damage?
Check the hinges – Are the hinges firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws?
Check the door closes properly – Open the door about halfway, let go and allow it to close by itself. Does it close firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame?
For more details, visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk.