Five Steps to Fire Door Safety
If you suspect that the building you’re living in, working in or even simply visiting has a faulty fire door, it is crucial to check this properly and report it to whoever manages the building – it could prove life saving.
Here, Graham Hulland, Product Marketing Manager at dormakaba, explains what you should check:
The gaps around the top and sides of the door must not be so big that smoke and fire could travel through the cracks. For this, they must be consistently less than 4mm when the door’s closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm) but this does depend on the door.
To check this, make sure light cannot be seen in the gap under the door. For around the sides and top of the door, use a £1 coin to check for scale, as these are about 3mm thick.
Intumescent seals are designed to expand if they’re in contact with heat, which will stop the fire and sometimes the smoke from moving through the craps. If they are missing or damaged, this can be incredibly dangerous in the event of a fire.
Take a close look at the edges of the door and frame and make sure these are intact, with no signs of tampering or wear.
The hinges must be firmly fixed to ensure the fire door works correctly, so it is crucial to open the door fully and check. Firmly fixed qualifies as a minimum of three hinges, with no missing or broken screws at all. If these are missing, the door will not open or close properly, which can hinder it working correctly in the event of a fire and prevent occupants evacuating safely.
A fire door only works when it is fully and properly closed – if it’s wedged open or cannot close fully, the seals and gaps will not matter, as fire and smoke will be able to pass through.
Open the door, let go and see what happens when it is allowed to close on its own – the door most close firmly onto the latch without sticking to the floor or the frame.
Look for a label or a plug on the top of the door that will show a certification mark. Sometimes this can be on the side of the door, but typically, check the top. To do this, use a mirror or the selfie function on a camera phone.
If there’s no certification label or plug, or this certification is eligible, report this immediately.
If you have any concerns at all about the integrity of a fire door, do not ignore it and think somebody else may notice it or that it is not your problem – in the event of a fire, failures in a fire door can have fatal consequences.
Report the issue immediately to whoever manages the building – it could save a life.
For more information on dormakaba, please visit www.dormakaba.co.uk.