Fire doors are a vital part of fire safety management within a wide range of building types and business sectors. This includes schools, hospitals and other medical facilities, student accommodation, and many office buildings, to name just a few. If you are responsible for fire safety management for a building of any kind, and where it is a legal requirement to have fire doors installed, there are a few things that you should be aware of. This can help you to minimise the risk of fire, and the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire in a building, as well as with the maintenance and repair of fire doors.
The first thing to look at on fire doors are the hinges. There must be a minimum of 3 hinges, all with screws fitted. The screws must also be of the correct size for that specific fire door, with all hinges free of metal fragments and oil leakage (if this is apparent there are signs of wear and tear that need to be addressed). The hinges must be marked with a CE stamp, and they must not squeak when the door is closed over.
If the fire door has a closer, the door must clearly display the correct signage on both sides in accordance with BS5499. Any hold open devices attached to the fire door must release the door to open whenever required. Check the batteries regularly on any hold open devices and check they are tested in accordance with EN1155 for electromechanical devices.
As for door closers there is a different set of principles that must be adhered to. Check if the door closes and engages the latch when it is opened 75mm. Regularly check that the closer is free from any damage and that it is not leaking at all. These are clear signs of wear and tear that require immediate addressing. The closer must be CE marked and use a minimum of power size 3, with the closing time of the door being no longer than 25 seconds.
Locks and latches must hold the door in place without any rattling taking place, and the lock fitted with the correct intumescent. They should also be CE marked to convey quality and integrity. The seals and vision panels are also incredibly important to the integrity of a fire door, with seals in place continuously around the hardware. Vision panels in the doors are needed where a door on a fire escape route is sub-dividing the corridor in question.
Keep an eye on the aspects above relating to fire doors and you can limit the possibility of a fire door falling into disrepair. A problematic fire door could cause all sorts of problems when it comes to fire safety management, posing a risk to residents or occupiers of a building in the event of a fire. If a substandard fire door is allowed to remain in place it could cause injury and loss of life, as well as leading to prosecution for those responsible for the management of fire safety principles, protocols and equipment and furniture in a building. Always ensure that you are fully prepared for fire, have designed a clear escape route and designated meeting point, as well as made clear to all relevant parties their responsibilities in the event of a fire.