Know Your Fire Door Responsibilities
Fire door safety can be a bit of a minefield. There are a few different standards and regulations when it comes to fire doors.
The ‘Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order’ (RRFSO) details the responsibilities of the person responsible for fire risk assessment. There’s also Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations, which links the Building Regulations to RRFSO to ensure that adequate fire safety provisions are in place when a building is constructed. ‘Approved Document B’ of the Building Regulations covers fire safety guidance for buildings in which fire doors play a unique role. This is designed to ensure fire safety and performance requirements are met.
Architects & Specifiers
Architects and specifiers are not directly responsible for the final say on fire door safety. They are however, in control of a building’s design so they have a responsibility of making sure a building is designed with fire safety in mind. All architects should be encouraging third-party accredited fire doors and ironmongery
Contractors & Developers
Contractors and developers have a tough task within the supply chain of building management. Delivering the visions of architects and specifiers as well as managing these projects on tight budgets. Building projects need to be managed within budget but more importantly they need to be safe and secure by using accredited and certified products from regulated manufacturers and suppliers. Manufacturers can determine which products and solutions can be used from a financial perspective as well as ensuring safety standards are met. They can also advise specifics about any hardware you are intending to use, and where you can or cannot specify them. Always go for quality products. Although they may cost more to begin with, using cheaper products can cost you more in the long run and are more likely to need to be replaced sooner. Quality fire door hardware has been tested to perform in a fire.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) states that the persons responsible for the building must ensure fire doors work correctly and that they are properly maintained. Responsible persons for buildings will include, owners, facilities managers, and site managers. They should be checking the fire doors regularly. The checks should be on the gaps, fire door components, panic exits, locks, latches, and door closers, ensuring they are in good condition and that they are working correctly. They also need to make sure that fire doors are not being propped open and raise awareness of why this cannot be done.
Building Control, Inspectors and Fire Departments
These people are the final point in the safety chain. They are responsible for checking and assessing fire doors and approving them!