Fire door misconception
There’s a big misconception when it comes to fire doors. People assume that if fire doors are present in a building, the occupants are going to be protected from fire and smoke but sadly, this isn’t always the case.
A shocking number of fire doors are poorly maintained, missing essential components, below standard versions are being used and they are installed incorrectly by unqualified people. These poor decisions to cut corners or save money can ultimately result in fatalities if a fire was to break out.
Fire doors are essential for the following reasons:
- A correctly installed and well maintained fire door can help to resist fire and slow down the fire’s passage throughout the building, as well as reduce the passage of smoke.
- Before the fire doors are fitted, exits and escape routes need to be identified in accordance with Buildings Regulations, the building will then be split down into compartments and protected escape routes are identified. This ‘fire strategy’ allows the occupants time to escape in the event of a fire.
- If an escape route is compromised due to fire door failures, this puts a massive risk to lives of the people in the building if a fire broke out.
- When the people in a building are evacuated the fire doors should continue to provide a degree of protection for to the building and for the fire service entering the building.
- When a fire door is closed its role is to resist fire for a specified period, with a minimum of 30 minutes required.
- Having the correct resistance time in specific locations within a building is critical to maintain the occupants’ safe escape routes.
Why are fire doorset components needed?
Fire doorset components are what makes up a fire door. They are essential to its successful performance. They help the fire door perform to standard, therefore including them as part of the installation process ensures that the fire door will do its job.
Fire door components include:
- Intumescent strips and cold smoke seals
- Fire resistant glazing in doors with glass/vision panels
- Fire signage
- Fire-tested ironmongery – (Hinges, Closers, Locks & Latches, Air Grilles, Panic Escape Ironmongery)
What is fire door maintenance?
Fire doors are often positioned in areas where footfall is heavy, such as corridors and building exits, this means they are susceptible to wear and tear and damage from repeated operation.
Common damage and wear and tear can include:
- Damage to the doors leaf or the components that make up the fire door (hardware, intumescent sealing and strips).
- Wear & tear of the door hardware causing a reduction in performance of the fixings.
- Failures on door closers.
Regular inspection and maintenance are a necessary procedure and a good routine check could be:
- Weekly inspection of doors in high traffic areas.
- Monthly checks of fire doors in main entrances and corridors.
- Annual checks for office or plant room service rises etc.
BM TRADA Q-Mark
BM TRADA Q-Mark is a good accreditation to look out for when it comes to fire doors. They are an independent provider of testing, inspection and certification services. They operate certification schemes for fire door manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
We do not maintain fire doors here at Stemko Group but looking out for a company with the above accreditation is something we would certainly recommend. We do hold the accreditation for the installation of fire doors, so we offer peace of mind and confidence to our clients. Safety is at the forefront of our minds when it comes to installation.
For more information on our certification and other BM TRADA certifications click on the link below.