Shutting the door on fire and smoke
Fire doors are a vital first line of defence in a fire. Their correct specification, installation, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants.
Despite this, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) still witnesses common problems in accommodation and businesses, ranging from doors being wedged open, non-fire doors or damaged doors being installed, or even where doors are completely missing.
HWFRS is encouraging building managers, landlords, tenants and all building users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and repair or report those that aren’t satisfactory.
Group Commander Mick Cadman of the HWFRS Community Risk department said: “The difference an effective fire door can make cannot be underestimated. A fire door is typically identified by a blue ‘FIRE DOOR KEEP SHUT’ sign often at eye level.
“Fire doors are an essential part of our fire protection, as they help keep fire and smoke trapped for a while in one area, so that the fire can be tackled, and people can be safely evacuated.
“If you’ve seen a damaged fire door or know of a flat entrance door that hasn’t been checked for fire performance, report it to your landlord or building manager straight away. And if you see a fire door propped open, make sure you shut it – a fire door cannot work when open.”
The 5 Step Fire Door Check lets anyone know whether it’s time to call in the professionals:
- check for certification - is there a label or plug on top (or occasionally on the side) of the door to show it is a certificated fire door?
- check the gaps – check the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when closed.
- check the seals - are there any seals around the door or frame, and are they intact, not painted and have no sign of damage?
- check the hinges - are they firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws?
- check the door closes properly - open the door about halfway, let go and allow it to close by itself. Does it close firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame?
For more details, visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk.
pr062.fire doorsafety.CR.sep19.rp (GCMC)