If you see a dodgy fire door, report it straight away!

Mon 26 Sep, 2016

Have you seen a fire door that’s damaged, poorly maintained or being propped open? Report it to your landlord or building manager straight away, as it could be the difference between life or death in the event of a fire.

That’s the message from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service at the start of Fire Door Safety Week, which runs until Sunday 2 October.

Fire doors are needed inside a variety of buildings, including flats, shops, offices, factories, hospitals, schools, care homes, bars, restaurants, libraries and sports centres.

They help to compartmentalise a building, such as a block of flats, keeping fire and smoke trapped for a while in one area, so that people can be safely evacuated and the fire can be tackled.

Fire doors, which are not necessarily fire exit doors, can be identified by a blue “Fire door keep shut” sign often at eye level.

Group Commander Richard Priest said: “Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire, but they remain a significant area of neglect.

“They are often the first thing to be downgraded on a specification, and mismanaged or mistreated throughout their service life.

“Fire door breaches are still one of the most common fines implemented under the Fire Safety Order, more than 10 years since this law was introduced.”

Fire Door Safety Week is organised by the British Woodworking Federation, the BWF-Certifire Scheme and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, in partnership with the Government’s safety campaign Fire Kills.

Spokesperson Hannah Mansell said: “Fire safety in private and public sector rented housing, especially houses in multiple occupation and older, less well maintained blocks of flats, continues to be a serious challenge. Yet these are often homes for the people with the fewest choices about where they live and the least opportunity to move.

“We frequently see fire doors in blocks of flats in a poor state of repair - fire doors that won’t close, or fire doors that have been wedged open. This is, of course, just one aspect of fire safety in these buildings, but good fire doors are often a sign of good fire safety generally.

"We are urging all tenants to report any concerns to the person responsible for the fire doors, most likely their landlord, straight away.”

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, pass the details to Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service using one of these numbers:

  • Aylesbury Vale/Chiltern: 01296 744400

  • Wycombe/South Bucks: 01628 470640

  • Milton Keynes: 01908 236413

Fire doors: The top 10 things to look out for

  • Does the door close soundly against the frame?
  • Are the seals (intumescent or smoke seals) present and in good condition?
  • Is the edge of the door or frame damaged?
  • Does the latch engage properly?
  • Are there any gaps larger than 3mm between the frame and the door?
  • Can you see light through the gap at the bottom of the door?
  • Are there a minimum of three hinges and do they look in good condition?
  • Does the door have signage on it?
  • If there is glazing in the door, does it look in good condition?
  • Is the door wedged or stuck open?

For more details, visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk