Why leaving your fire doors improperly maintained can be deadly
Buildings are compartmentalised to delay the spread of fire from one area to another. These compartments are usually linked by fire doors to allow the flow of traffic around the building.
Fire doors have two important functions in a fire; when closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire and when opened they provide a means of escape.
A well designed timber fire door will delay the spread of fire and smoke without causing too much hindrance to the movement of people and goods.
Every fire door is therefore required to act as a barrier to the passage of smoke and/or fire to varying degrees depending upon its location in a building and the fire hazards associated with that building.
Fire doors are engineered products that provide life and property saving functions in the event of fire. It is important that they are regularly inspected and maintained to permit them to perform at their best on the one and only occasion when they are called upon to do so.
If your fire doors are not properly maintained they will not stop fire and this could lead to damage of property or in the worst cases, death. Fire doors require regular inspection to ensure the integrity of them is intact, that they have not been vandalised or damaged and that they can perform as expected should a fire occur.
Fire doors should be inspected regularly (minimum of 6 monthly inspections) to ensure functionality and that they are always ready to perform. Fire doors should be treated the same way as other fire-fighting or detection equipment, receiving the same level of care and attention.
Alterations to the door or its surroundings, however small, can have a potentially critical impact on a fire door’s performance, therefore it is recommended that periodic checks are carried out. The frequency of these checks will depend upon the premises in question and how often people are using the doors.
Fire evacuation drills form part of a business fire safety plan. As part of this, consider checking the various routes out of the premises during these drills and the areas of the fire doors that are susceptible to damage.