Fire doors are crucial for protecting escape routes and slowing and controlling the spread of smoke and fire. They section off different parts of the building during a fire and help control its ferocity through their heat resistance and strength. This is vital when it comes to buying time for evacuation and an emergency response. The more time you have before a fire grows, the greater your chance of escaping the building safely and reducing fire and smoke damage.
Fire doors are not as simple to install as standard doors. There are strict regulations and guidelines to follow, ensuring fire doors can withstand certain heats. Fire doors are built from a solid timber frame and must have fire-resistant glass. They must also be fitted with an intumescent strip and cold smoke seal to resist the passage of smoke and fire.
The components of fire doors are also different. The frame, handle, locks, hinges need to be CE marked, custom to the fire doors and fitted correctly by a trained professional.
It’s necessary to consider the fire door requirements according to the setting it’s protecting, an expert will know what’s best to prevent the spread of fire in your building.
The location of the fire doors is also important and that must be determined by a fire safety assessor and it’ll be included in your fire risk assessment.
Keep fire doors closed
Fire doors often get propped open – this is not safe. It contravenes fire safety regulations and renders the door completely pointless. Keep all fire doors closed, or use approved hold open devises that will release upon a fire alarm activation.
If you operate a premises, like a nursing home or hotel, where continual access to corridors via a fire door is necessary – consider installing fire doors that open for access purposes but provide the peace of mind that it’ll close automatically should the fire alarm sound.
Maintenance and signage
Ongoing maintenance is required; make sure you test and regularly inspect your fire doors monthly to ensure their structural integrity and functionality. Inspections should be completed by a certified fire safety technician, or a fire Warden who has knowledge of what to look for as part of the inspection.
Any modifications to the fire doors or its surroundings, including the frame, hinges, latches or door closers could alter performance and put the building and its occupants at risk.
Dedicated fire door signage communicates important fire safety information and instructs occupants on what action to take in an emergency.
The Responsible Person is obliged by law to conduct a fire risk assessment and fire doors must be examined as part of this assessment. Maintenance and regular inspections should not be delayed; legal proceedings can be brought against the Responsible Person if fire doors are insufficient in the event of a fire.
If you need advice on the most suitable fire doors, a fire risk assessment or training with regard to fire safety for your premises, please contact Benfield Fire Safety by calling 0300 303 3277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org