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Fire door safety often overlooked, say experts

Posted onPosted on 19th Apr

Business owners who have a duty to ensure their premises meet fire safety regulations are being urged to go beyond basic guidelines and check fire doors.

Doors are often overlooked when people carry out inspections, but according to Kieran Percival, co-founder at Fire Door Safety Specialists, Ashfield, people are merely ticking boxes.

He says that many people who inspect doors and doorsets do not always have the technical know-how and experience, even if they come from a fire service background.

He said: “Fire safety inspections are vital in keeping people safe, but many businesses and premises owners are overlooking the safety of doors.

“When people think fire doors, they think of them as points of entry and exit and are like any other door. Actually, to be compliant, the doors and the fittings have to conform to strict regulations.

“They are not just doors, they are a fire safety device and if used and maintained correctly they will save lives.”

Fire doors are constructed to precise measurements and must adhere to particular standards. For example, metal accessories such as door handles or locks must be in certain places and made out of certain materials.

Failure to adhere to the standards could mean that the doors do not conform and could pose a risk to life in the event of a fire.

Kieran says that when his inspections teams visit premises, they often find doors that have been damaged, gaps between doors and frames, and accessories put on a door that do not fit the criteria.

He added: “For example, a business might use a joiner to fit a fire door, but that person is unlikely to know the technical details and what they can actually install.

“At the end of the day, it’s more than just about a fire door, it’s about keeping people safe. And remember, a cheap job may be cheap but it won’t be if someone loses their life.”

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