Fire doors help contain fire and smoke to the area where it originated and help keep access routes, corridors, and fire exits clear for longer to aid escape. In short, fire doors help save lives; so having regular audits and inspecting the condition of fire doors is essential.
A building’s fire doors are often overlooked, yet they are an essential part of a successful fire safety strategy. The most common issues surrounding the performance of fire doors are incorrect installation and doors falling into disrepair from poor maintenance. This is why both routine checks and a regular fire door inspection carried out by qualified assessors are so important.
When you carry out your own regular fire door checks, you should look for the following:
There should be a label or plug on the top or side of the door to show it is a certificated fire door. If there isn’t a label or plug contact your landlord, or call us.
Check around the top and sides of the door to ensure the gaps are consistently less than 4mm when closed. You can invest in a fire door gap gauge but a good tip is to use a £1 coin to give an idea of scale; this is about 3mm thick.
As a general guide, if you can see the light under the door, the gap is likely to be too big.
If your fire door has any signs of damage, it is likely that fire and smoke will be able to get through. Report it immediately and ensure the necessary remedial works are carried out as soon as possible.
There should be intumescent seals around the door; these seals are vital to the fire door’s performance, as they expand when in contact with heat to ensure fire or smoke can’t move through any gaps. If any seals are missing or appear damaged, report it and ensure the necessary remedial works are carried out.
All fire doors should have at least three hinges to minimise the risk of warping; these should be firmly fixed with no missing or broken screws. If there are fewer than three hinges, or if screws are broken or missing, then remedial work is required.
Check the fire door closes correctly
To test this, open the door halfway, let it go, and allow the door to close by itself. The door should close smoothly and fully, without sticking to the frame.
Regular fire door inspections
During a fire door audit, a competent and certified inspector will visit your site to undertake a full audit of all fire doors within the premises to check they are compliant.
The entire door set and its integrity will be thoroughly assessed to ensure it will perform correctly in the event of a fire. A full report will then be presented, noting any inaccessible areas and detailing the condition of each door against a number of pre-determined criteria, along with detailed images of any problem areas or defects. All doors inspected will be given an asset number which will be highlighted on a floor plan of the building to aid with future inspections and corrective work.
A schedule of any required remedial work will also be provided.
It is recommended that fire doors be fully audited every six months but, as ever, a risk-based approach is recommended to ensure doors are being checked regularly enough in your premises.
If the building users are considered vulnerable, include members of the public who are unfamiliar with the layout, or if you are carrying out high-risk activities, then all doors should be checked regularly on a round of internal inspections.
To find out more information or to get a no-obligation quote, call our Compliance Team on 01427 420 404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
This article is provided by our sister company, Stallard Kane, a specialist risk management service provider offering expert advice and solutions in Health and Safety, HR, Risk Solutions and Training. This article is for general guidance only and aims to provide general information on a relevant topic in a concise form. This article should not be regarded as advice in relation to a particular circumstance. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific advice.
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