Fire Door Safety Week 2018

Fire Door Safety Week 2018

Fire Door Safety campaign will take place from the 24th September till 30th September this year. The theme of this year edition is “ Fire Door Five: Shutting the door on fire and smoke”. The campaign, is run annually by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), BWF-Certifire scheme, the newly formed BWF Fire Door Alliance and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) and works closely with the Home Office’s National Fire Safety campaign (formerly Fire Kills). The initiative was awarded the Safety and Health Excellence Campaign of the Year in 2017.

The campaign programme include, amongst others, the launch of an online Fire Door Inspection tool and numerous Fire Door Awareness Events across the UK.

One of the most important messages promoted during the Fire Door Safety Week is the 5 Step Fire Door Check. Follow this guidance and report any findings to the building owner or manager or local authority:

  1. Check doors certification- certified fire doors will be labelled or with a plug on the top
  2. Check gaps- the gaps around the top and sides of the door should be less than 4mm when closed. If the gaps are too big smoke and fire could travel through the cracks.
  3. Check seals- seals are ensuring the fire doors performance. Most fire doors have a smoke seal around the perimeter and the intumescent seal. This brush or fin seal should fill the gap when the door is closed.
  4. Check hinges- there should be minimum 3 hinges and all hinges should be firmly fixed with no missing or broken screws.
  5. Check if the doors closes properly- fire door only works when it is closed. Fire doors should close firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame. Fire doors should never be propped open.

According to the Atomic research 2017, since the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, over 67% of surveyed apartment renters admitted that their landlords have not been discussing the fire safety measures in their accommodation. Fire protection systems in buildings consists of built in fire protection, sprinklers and fire alarms. Fire doors are one of the most critical elements of passive fire protection. Fire doors keep fire and smoke away for a period of time to allow people to be safely evacuated.

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW, as well as British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Head of Technical Research and Insight, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, says: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety. There is no doubt that fire doors, fully fitted with their correct and compatible components, that are properly installed and maintained play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means more lives could be lost as a result of substandard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost and that is why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities to carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high.”

Mensell added: “Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants but there is still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire. Because of this uncertainty, our focus for fire door safety week this year is “shutting the door on fire and smoke” and we want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.”

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