We’re recognising Fire Door Safety Week – 25th – 29th September 2023 – as an opportune time to highlight the critical role fire doors play in the preservation of life and building fire safety.
Unfortunately, as Sentient Consultants visit and walk around premises undertaking Health and Safety Audits and Fire Risk Assessments, we are finding many examples of defective and deficient fire doors.
The Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) has warned of a “tragedy waiting to happen” after publishing data based on over 100,000 inspections that showed a staggering 75% of fire doors fail to meet safety standards.
Data also disturbingly revealed that 31% of failures were due to improper installation, meaning the doors were never fit for purpose.
The most common reasons for fire door inspection failures can be a result of one or multiple issues – these were excessive gaps between the door and the frame (77%), care and maintenance issues (54%), and issues over smoke sealing (37%).
The data also showed inspectors’ top three fire safety concerns are:
- A lack of fire door maintenance;
- A poor knowledge of fire safety responsibilities; and
- A limited understanding by those responsible for building fire safety of the role fire doors play in keeping people safe.
Legal Requirements on Responsible Persons (Duty Holders):
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Article 17, Maintenance, it states:
17.—(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the Responsible Person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises …. are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, and in good repair.
Weblink to Article 17- Maintenance: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/article/17/made
Fire doors, or ‘fire door sets’ to name them correctly are an essential piece of fire safety engineering.
Fire door sets that are not “fit for purpose” is a tragedy simply waiting to happen, especially so in buildings that are home to vulnerable people. The situation is entirely preventable with immediate remedial action taken.
Fire door sets that are “fit-for-purpose” can save lives!
Now is the time for all of those persons responsible for fire safety to urgently have the fire doors in their building inspected by a competent inspector and act immediately to rectify any faults identified using only trained and accredited fire door installers, so work is completed to the correct standards.
Fire doors only have one opportunity to do their job and they must work first time, look after them so they can protect your life and that of all other occupants when required.
If you’re not sure whether your fire doors are up to code, our health & safety consultants can help review your fire safety status, and give you advice on how to make sure you’re safe and compliant. Learn more about our fire safety expertise.