With Fire Door Safety Week fast approaching we thought it would be helpful to share with you the 5 step safety checks that you can perform to help towards ensuring fire door safety in your building. It is important to note that if you have any suspicion that any fire doors at your workplace are compromised or faulty in any way, you report these to the relevant responsible persons and ensure that a professional is contacted asap.
When looking to identify fire doors always look for certification, this will usually come in the form of labeling or plug either on the top of the door or on the side of the door. Without any form of certification, you cannot confirm that it is in fact a certified fire door. You'll be able to do this by using the selfie camera mode function on any smart phone.
After checking that the door has certification and that it is therefore a fire door, you will need to also make sure that there are no gaps greater than 4mm around both the top and the sides of a fire door when closed. Gaps under the fire door can usually be a bit larger, allowing 8mms when closed. A good parameter to use is that light shouldn't be visible under the door. To check that the gaps on sides and top are correct too, use a £1 coin, this should barely fit as it is roughly 3mm in thickness. If your fire door does not match these requirements, report it. Remember we are making sure that no smoke can travel through the cracks in the door.
Intumescent seals are an incredibly important aspect of your fire doors safety, therefore you must check them and ensure that there is no sign of damage or significant wear and tear that could compromise its functionality. We need to ensure that the seals will expand once in contact with heat. Looking at the edges of the door frame to make sure no damage is visible, as these seals will also help trap smoke and fire from travelling through cracks.
All hinges on the fire door must be firmly fixed, there will be at lest 3, maybe more in some circumstances. There also needs to be no missing or broken / damaged screws. At this stage we are checking that the door has been properly maintained and that it will perform to the required standard in the event of a fire outbreak. To check hinges, simply open the door and inspect them, anything untoward, report immediately.
5. Closing Properly
We need to check that fire doors will properly close when required, this is arguably the most important aspect of your fire door, ensuring that it will close and close properly when required. In order to close properly, the door will need to close firmly onto the latch without being obstructed by sticking on the floor or any other obstacles that will prevent it from doing so. As we'd hope you are aware of by now, a fire door cannot perform to its usual standard if wedged open and not shut correctly. The best method to check if your fire door closes properly, is to open the door halfway and release the door, allowing it to close by itself. If the door doesn't close firmly onto the latch, again you must report it, as this means that fire door will not be able to protect occupants inside the building.
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