Maintaining Fire Doors: Essential Facts
With Fire Door Safety Week approaching, (25 September – 1 October 2017), and with recent fire-related tragedies in the UK, fire safety is a topic that’s not only touched our hearts but has made its way to the top of our ‘To do’ list.
Fire door installation and maintenance
Having appropriately accredited, correctly installed and suitably maintained fire doors is essential in any residential property or commercial building and could save lives, should the worst happen. But how can you find out which doors to choose, how to install them and how to maintain them?
Specialist fire door advice
At JB Kind we’re specialists in advising our customers on fire doors and fire door safety so you’ll find a useful range of guidance on which fire doors to choose and how to install your fire doors in our Info Centre and fire door blogs (see left) – and if you read on, you’ll find our top tips for maintaining your fire doors.
How to maintain your fire doors
Maintaining your fire doors doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but it does need a plan to ensure that your fire doors are checked regularly so that they will offer maximum protection and perform as they should in the event of a fire. You need to be certain you know your obligations, inspect what needs to be inspected, repair with the right components and to take the appropriate action. So, if you want to maintain your fire doors effectively then make sure you’re familiar with our five essential fire door facts.
Five essential facts for maintaining your fire doors
You have a legal obligation
Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order makes it a legal requirement to make sure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and properly maintained – if they aren’t, they are considered not fit for purpose and any breach of a Fire Safety Order means that you are open to not only prosecution, but the closure of your building too! If you’re concerned that your inspections may not be up to scratch then there is an education programme, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, which will train an individual to become a ‘competent person’ to carry out fire door checks. For more information on this on this scheme www.fdis.co.uk
Checks need to be undertaken every six months:
Best practice dictates that checks on your fire doors should take place twice a year, although in the case of newly occupied buildings, this should be more frequent, ideally at least once a quarter. In addition, you need to check the flow of people though your buildings and where there are a large number of people using a particular fire door, you may need to check that it is not damaged as often as once a week.
All parts of the fire door and door set should be checked:
Undertaking a fire door inspection is a comprehensive job. Not only is it legally required that the check is done by a competent person, but it also covers all parts of the door assembly and the surrounding door set. For example, you need to make sure the gap between the frame and the door is the right size, that the intumescent and smoke seal are in place and undamaged, that the door has the appropriate signage and the air transfer grille is unblocked – and these are just a few of your obligations. Not checking all the required elements thoroughly and within the appropriate timescales will leave you open to legal action, or worse, put lives at risk. To make sure you don’t miss anything, why not use the checklist from the fire door accreditation scheme BWF-CERTIFIRE, as outlined in its Best Practice Guide.
Creating a fire door register will help:
If your building or buildings have multiple fire doors and they don’t all have the same inspection schedule then it is useful to create a fire door register. This provides a central source for all the information on door specifications, components required, maintenance undertaken and checks required/recorded as well as installation dates and fire certificate numbers. Effectively it’s a record of all things fire door and, as well as making sure you don’t miss out any vital inspections, it will help protect you in the case of any investigations or legal action.
You must establish the compatibility of components
If a fire door needs fixing then of course you’ll need to do this as soon as possible, however, it’s vital to make sure you have the right components and materials for the job. In the case of fire doors, the compatibility of the components used is essential as, if they are not compatible with the fire door, and if they are not fire rated components, then it means the fire door cannot perform as it should. You’ll be able to establish which parts are appropriate for your fire doors by checking the fire certificate data sheet. If the fire certificate data sheet is not clear, or you have additional questions, then it’s best to check with the fire door manufacturer as if you don’t use one of these specialist components then the fire certification of the door will be invalid.
Fire Door Safety Week website
At JB Kind we think we’ve got some fairly thorough fire door information, however, if you can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere on our website then we suggest that you take a look at the Fire Door Safety Week information portal.
This comprehensive website is run by the fire door accreditation scheme BWF-CERTIFIRE so it’s not trying to sell you fire doors, it’s a purely informative site that will help you understand your fire door-related obligations, needs and options - and which outlines pretty much all the information you’ll ever need on fire doors!