According to recent research by the FDIS, UK fire doors are not up to scratch with analysis revealing disturbingly common and large-scale problems in buildings across the UK.
A sample of assessments* carried out by fire door inspectors identified issues that have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of fire doors to hold back smoke and flames in a fire including:
Over 61% had problems with fire or smoke seals
More than a third had incorrect signage
230 fire doors inspected had gaps bigger than 3mm between the door and its frame (as specified in BS9999:2008 and BS8214:2008)
More than 20% had unsuitable hinges
Almost 1 in 6 had damage to the door leaf.
What the Law Says
Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order requires a suitable maintenance regime to ensure relevant equipment is kept in an efficient state**. This includes fire doors and escape doors.
Article 18 of the Fire Safety Order requires the responsible person to appoint one or more competent persons to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures.
Neil Ashdown, FDIS general manager, says: “These stats make interesting reading showing an average 3.7 faults per door inspected. Fire doors in the majority of UK building stock are not fit for purpose, these are the facts. Compartmentation is the most effective means for providing fire safety and this survey shows how seriously safety is being compromised.’’
How to Know Your Door is Safe
Vulcan Fire Training offers a range of fire safety courses which cover means of escape and doors on escape routes. These include: