Fire resisting and smoke-resisting doors are vital aspects of every premises in which individuals work or visit. They provide resistance to the fire spread. The main reason for fire doors is that it saves lives and property when there is a fire. Moreover, they can also limit its effects. They are very relevant in the safe maintenance of escape routes. A responsible person, preferably the Fire Safety Managers, should be responsible for checking the different types of fire doors on a premises and monitoring their condition for effective operation. It is necessary to maintain a register of all the fire doors in a premises as well as an inspection sheet.
The most common type of fire door is an FD30 (lasts at least 30 minutes in the fire) and the FD60 that is for commercial use (lasts at least 60 minutes in a fire).
When are fire doors needed?
Anywhere a fire may start. E.g. Doors leading into a kitchen, lounge, room with flammable items or a room with electrical equipment. If a 2 storey house has an integral garage the door leading into the house needs to be a fire door. A 3 storey property must have FD30 on the 3rd floor.
The fitting of a fire door needs to be fitted according to the supplier or manufacturers test evidence.
Inspection of fire doors
Fire doors should be inspected once a week and the results of the inspections recorded. Inspections of fire doors should include checking the following features:
- integrity of panel, frame, glazing, and intumescent strip;
- door tightness;
- full closure, hatch operation, smoke seal, and door closer operation;
- automatic door release;
- doors propped/wedged open
Fire doors should never be wedged or propped open. All staff should be alert to such a breach of fire safety, which should be reported to the Fire Safety Manager and recorded. Fire risk assessments should consider both where fire resisting doors have been installed and how well they are being maintained. Furthermore all staff should take part in regular fire safety courses to ensure that they understand the role of safety measures such as these.