Fire Doors: Why it’s not an open and shut case
Whether you are in rented housing or your own home, fire doors are an essential way to protect your family from fire. However, fire doors are often misunderstood and landlords and homeowners alike don’t always know that a fire door isn’t fitted or maintained properly and this means it may not work when you need it most.
Fire Door Safety Week gives us the perfect opportunity to find out more and talk about the precautions that we can take to prevent a fire in our home, specifically when it comes to finding, installing and maintaining accredited fire doors.
Fire doors: An essential way to protect your family from fire
In May 2022, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) reported that 75% of 100,000 doors inspected in 2021, failed to meet the required standard – across a range of buildings, from private housing and healthcare to housing association and local authority properties. That’s s scary statistic, so it’s really important that you make sure your fire doors are working as they should. But how do you do that, and how do you make sure they keep on working?
How to check your fire doors work: Five-point safety check
Fire Door Safety Week is the brainchild of the British Woodworking Federation and it promotes a Five Point Fire Door Safety Check to follow to make sure your fire doors will perform effectively in the event of a fire:
- Certification: Make sure that you have an accredited fire door. For example, the BWF CERTIFIRE scheme is a recognised UK fire door standard. You also need to make sure that any ironmongery (the hinges, locks and latches) have the CE marking and are compatible with the door’s specification.
- Apertures: Simply, this means, don’t make any alterations to the door. For example, don’t modify it to be a glazed door or add air transfer grilles, it will make any certification void, and the door will not work as it should in a fire.
- Gaps and Seals: Make sure your door has seals fitted at the top and sides of the door, check that the gap around the door frame is a constant 3-4mm and that the hinges are fixed firmly in place.
- Closers: If you have a closer on your door (not all fire doors have these), then make sure it closes from any position.
- Operation: Make sure the fire door closes properly and fits snugly around all parts of the frame.
If you find your fire door is not up to scratch, then the problem could be that it wasn’t installed properly initially (all fire doors need to be fitted by a qualified professional), that it hasn’t been maintained regularly, its parts are faulty, or it is not an accredited fire door.
Fire Door Safety Week Toolkit
The Fire Door Safety Week website offers a Toolkit which provides a wealth of information. For example, the section on private rented housing offers excellent advice about landlords’ responsibilities that you could share with your landlord.
If you have your own home, then it’s your responsibility, and you’d have to find out what the exact issue is. More information on internal fire doors.
If you don’t already have fire doors in your home, installing them is a move that can literally save lives, and the good news is that your fire doors can integrate perfectly with whatever your interior design style may be. At JB Kind, we offer fire door options for the majority of our door ranges, including glazed fire doors.
Any fire in your home is devastating and having fire doors in your home’s fire protection arsenal, is a must.