Vulcan Supports Fire Door Safety Week

11th September 2015

Vulcan Fire Training are supporting next week’s Fire Door Safety Week (14th to 20th September), which is aiming to raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues, such as poor installation and maintenance.

Vulcan Supports Fire Door Safety Week| Vulcan Fire Training
“The rates of fire deaths and casualties are reducing, but there are still an average of 25 fatalities or injuries from building fires every day. Fire doors are a crucial first line of defence in many of these fires, and yet they remain a significant area of neglect,” says Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week. 

“Ten years on from a new law being introduced, fire door failure is still a consistent feature of prosecutions. Just this year alone we know of hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines and prison sentences for people who have failed to meet their fire safety responsibilities,” added Mansell, who claims that her organisation routinely finds faults in fire doors in private rented accommodation.

It is the legal responsibility of property owners or lettings agents to undertake risk assessments to identify actions which need to be taken in order to protect the building from fire. It must be kept under constant review and amended if any changes are made to the premises.

Latest fire prosecutions 

  1. The owner of Abbey College in Malvern fined £50,000 for “woefully inadequate” fire safety measures that included “non-functional fire doors in student sleeping areas.
  2. An HMO landlord in Blackpool fined £36,000 plus costs of £7,000 after admitting 10 breaches of the Fire Safety Order including fire doors that did not close properly.
  3. Fine of £48,000 for owners of a nursing home in Liverpool for putting the safety of elderly residents at risk with various actions including “having wedged-open and defective fire doors”
  4. A four month suspended prison sentence and a £30,000 fine for the former director of a health spa in Clapham for breaking fire safety regulations including having no fire doors on the ground floor and no self-closing doors leading onto the buildings escape routes.

Source: Fire Door Safety Inspection Scheme

Importance of Fire Door Safety  

It is important for Members of staff, Managers and Landlords to have the correct training on fire door safety in order to reduce the risk of a fire. Fire is often the biggest safety risk any businesses ever has.Without fire safety training your insurances may not be valid and your staff are left vulnerable. 

Fire doors are part of a building’s PASSIVE fire protection system, an essential requirement for ALL public buildings, offices and factories, which are separated from other rooms, or compartmented, in order to:

    • Keep any fire in the compartment in which it starts
    • Protect the occupants (and contents) of other compartments
    • Provide a safe, protected route to allow the occupants to escape.

Examples of fire risks: 

    • Fire doors wedged open
    • Storeroom doors left insecure
    • Combustible items stored in escape routes
    • Fire safety policies not being followed
    • Failure to maintain emergency routes and exitsFire safety risk assessment not suitable and sufficient
    • Damaged and poorly maintained fire doors
    • Limited evidence of fire drills taking place.

The simple purpose of a fire door in everyday use is just as any other door. However, since a breakout of fire is never predictable, the fire door, unlike any other door, must then perform its prime purpose - to protect lives and offer protection to the remainder of the building and to other buildings.

Source: Fire Door Safety & Fire Safe

As a provider of fire safety training courses our aim is to make sure delegates have the information they need to carry out effective fire risk assessments and identify any potential fire risks, which can be rectified to provide an incident occurring. Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales must undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

Ensure that your building meets its legal requirements with relevant fire training from Vulcan including fire extinguisher and awareness, fire warden and fire risk assessment.

To ensure you know how to carry out fire risk assessments book  one of our training courses here.

To find out more about Fire Safety Week click here.