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Fire Door Inspections

When carrying out inspections within your workplace one of your priorities should be to check the integrity of the fire door.  Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Fire doors should be inspected and maintained at least annually, however these inspections may be required every six months or even every three months in a busy building.

It is recommended that you a competent person such as a registered FDIS inspector to check your fire doors. These are people that have have had their competence and knowledge independently assessed. Fire doors play a vital role in fire safety and are a legal requirement in all non-domestic properties. Buildings are compartmentalised to delay the spread of fire from one area to another. These compartments are usually linked by fire doors to allow the flow of traffic around the building. Fire doors will form a barrier to stop the spread of fire, and also provide means of escape.

What should be checked when carrying out a fire door Inspection:

  • Certification – Fire doors must be certified and will be CE Marked.
  • Gaps‘Mind the Gap’ Large gaps in fire doors will allow smoke to travel meaning that the barrier that the fire door offers is now obsolete. The top and sides of the doors should have a gap of less than 4mm from the frame.

A pound coin can be used to check, as this is approx 3mm in width.

The gap between the door and floor should be less than 10mm when the door is closed.

  • Door frame – You cannot use any door frame, nor build your own door frames, frames must be purchased from a fire door manufacturer. Frames must be firmly attached to the wall and free from any damage.
  • Closing of Door – Fire doors are required to fully shut, fire doors are required to automatically shut and should firmly against the frame.
  • Seals – It is important that all fire doors are fitted with intumescent seals. Seals are to be well attached inside the groove in the frame or door leaf. Be mindful when redecorating and do not paint over seals as it will damage the integrity of the seal.
  • Hinges – Each fire door will need a minimum of three hinges, these should be firmly fixed with all screws fitted.  Remember to ensure that all ironmongery used is from a reputable manufacturer and fire rated.
  • Door closer – Fire doors must have a door closer to ensure they shut automatically. These will also ensure that they do not slam, causing potential damage to doors or trapping fingers. Again these will need to be fire rated.
  • Automatic Releasing mechanisms – Remember if you are using any type of automatic releasing mechanism that you should test these regularly to ensure that they release the door when the fire alarm sounds. Make sure that you ensure they are well maintained and free of damage.
  • Latches – Ensure latches are not loose and securely hold the door in place.

 

A competent person will ensure that they inspect your doors and report back any concerns.  It is important that if you have a fire door that looks damaged, then it probably is damaged and will not do the required job that fire doors are designed to do.  A fire door could be the difference between life and death and should maintained accordingly.

Agility Risk & Compliance can assist you in ensuring that your Fire Doors are meeting the regulatory requirements.

Sources: Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 & The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulation 1996

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