Fire Doors – are you breaking the law?
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Fire doors can be found in all workplaces, whether it be in schools, stores, offices, churches, factories, you name it, they will be there. As explained in our previous article “the difference between fire doors and regular doors”, fire doors are so much more than simply the link between different rooms, they are the makeup of multiple fire resistant materials that form a crucial aspect of passive fire protection and a barrier to battle a potential fire outbreak.
With that being said, fire door maintenance cannot be ignored, and it should be of great importance for business owners and responsible persons that they are maintained and able to function to their required level.
To truly understand the total devastation that can be caused by a fire to a premises without the appropriate fire protection, you need only pay attention to the news and or do a simple internet search for such cases.
What do fire doors do for your premises?
Often a first line of defense, fire doors are expertly engineered and put together in order to contain and compartmentalize, heat, smoke and fire, preventing this from spreading throughout your building. With this in mind it is imperative that your building has the correctly rated fire doors in the correct areas relative to the level of risk posed and that will best protect occupants whilst offering a viable and safe exit. There should be no corners cut when it comes to securing the safety of your workplace.
Before implementing fire doors, a professional fire risk assessor should be consulted to help decide the correct fire door installation as well as installing, referring to the rating required in which instance. Fire doors should be handled carefully, perhaps with greater care than regular doors as these are essentially a piece of safety equipment that will need to be called upon in the event of an emergency. A fire doors rating can be categorized as the amount of time that the particular door will withstand fire for. As previously explained in other articles, in most cases fire doors will be either FD30 (withstands fire for 30 minutes) or FD60 (withstands fire for 60 minutes). Misuse or mistreatment of fire doors will only negatively impact the effectiveness of the fire door and therefore put occupants at more risk.
The laws concerning fire doors
As outlined above, just having the right doors installed correctly in the right place, will not help protect occupants if those doors are not handled with a great level of care. Maintenance is key and there are laws in place to ensure that maintenance is upheld. Research suggests that remaining compliant with the (fire safety) regulatory reform order 2005, alongside ensuring that correct doors are installed, will save lives. This law is in place to help educate the responsible person or persons on the various legal requirements that they will need to follow. The law states that there must be an allocated “responsible person or persons” that will have a duty of care and will need to take the necessary steps to ensure safety. This includes installing appropriate fire doors and having a routine schedule for maintenance, failure to do so will result in steep penalties.
The Building Regulations Approved Document B helps cover fire safety in all types of buildings also, responsible persons will have a duty to make sure that fire doors meet these standards too. The best practise to follow for a responsible person is to ensure that a professional fire safety expert carry out the initial fire risk assessment as well as installing inspection and maintenance of all fire doors in your building.
Why fire door inspections are vital
Much like all aspects of the commercial workplace, fire doors are also not immune to deterioration over time. Fire doors age and wear and tear will become almost inevitable. Action will need to taken to counteract this, otherwise slight problems can lead to, and become major issues. It is important to remember that there should absolutely be no gaps present in fire doors and that a gap that is allowed to grow could be the difference between life and death.
For further information regarding fire door safety and our fire door maintenance service, please click here, or give us a call today - 01604 696113.