Fire Door Inspection
Fire doors are an essential line of defence in a fire and can be the difference between life and death. When a fire occurs, they prevent smoke and fire from spreading, protect escape routes and allow occupants to escape.
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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England & Wales) and the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 place a legal duty on the ‘responsible person’ appointed for every relevant building – which means virtually every building that isn’t a single dwelling – to ensure that the fire safety standards set out in the regulations are met.
“Our mission is to improve fire safety by helping those with responsibility to understand and fulfill those responsibilities.”
More people have died in fires in the UK in each of the last ten years than have died from drink drive related incidents. But drink driving deaths used to be counted in the thousands. What changed? Public awareness, perception and tolerance changed – and we all recognised our responsibilities as road users to change the situation.
We believe we all have a part to play in improving fire safety too. For our part it started with recognising our role as contractors and wanting to make sure everything we do is right. But we cannot ignore what we have seen and learned in achieving that goal – we feel we have a duty to our customers and our communities to do more. And so, we have embarked on a mission to use the tools at our disposal and whatever influence we have within our industry to raise awareness, change perception and reduce tolerance of poor fire safety standards.
Most ‘responsible persons’ are not fire safety experts, they are usually experts in their own business – but they do have a duty to ensure that the fire safety features of their building are inspected and maintained by a ‘competent person’ who does have the relevant expertise to carry out that work. Fire Risk Assessments are, therefore, regularly conducted in most relevant buildings and provide a valuable overview of the ‘passive’ fire safety features (fire screens, doors, walls) as well as the ‘active’ features (sprinklers, alarms, fire extinguishers).
Unfortunately, evidence shows us that fire doors remain a significant area of neglect with improper installation, downgrades on the specification, insufficient maintenance and damage leading to poor fire safety with potentially fatal consequences. The statistics are shocking – over 60% of fire doors inspected are not fit for purpose. Although they are a ‘passive’ fire safety element, fire doors are complex, engineered products and, like any engineered product, need correct installation and regular maintenance. Any failing, no matter how small, could mean that your fire doors, will not perform to the required standard in the one and only case that they may be called upon to do so.
By working together with our colleagues in the industry, our customers and communities to raise awareness and understanding of the standards relating to fire doors we aim to reduce that shocking statistic and make our built environment a safer place to work, play and live.