Why Are Fire Door Inspections so Important?
Posted on 9th October 2022
Fire door inspections are essential for ensuring the overall safety of your building in the event of a fire. Making sure that all fire doors in your building are up to standard is not only important but also legally required for commercial and managed residential buildings.
Fire doors are a key element of passive fire protection as they are designed to prevent the spread of flames and smoke throughout the building. They are particularly crucial in buildings where people reside such as student accommodations, blocks of flats, nursing homes and others.
Since they are a key component in fire compartmentation, fire-rated doors should meet certain safety requirements. Some of those requirements include being fitted with cold smoke seals and intumescent strips, fit the door frame and be kept closed.
In this article we’ll talk you through the official regulations around fire door testing and why it’s so important to have your fire doors inspected by a certified and trusted professional.
What is the Law Around Fire Door Inspections?
The main legislation that deals with fire safety in England and Wales is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Fire Safety Order obliges a Responsible Person to make sure that all fire doors in the building are “subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. What is meant by this is, for instance, ensuring that fire doors have at least a FD30 rating. A fire door with this rating should provide fire protection for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Where is a Fire-Rated Door Required?
Fire doors are legally required in all non-domestic buildings including businesses, commercial properties and public buildings. Doors leading to areas of high traffic such as hallways and staircases should be fire rated.
In residential blocks, fire doors are required at front entrances as well as any areas leading to communal spaces. Additionally, all doors that are entrances to individual flats need to be fire-rated and able to hold back fire for at least 30 minutes.
This is done to ensure buildings are properly compartmented and each compartment is fire-resistant. Fire compartmentation also ensures that escape routes are kept clear so occupants, staff and visitors can evacuate safely.
Who is Responsible for Fire Door Testing?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) 2005 states that commercial building operators in England and Wales have to appoint a “Responsible Person” to oversee and manage all fire safety matters in the building. This person is legally responsible to make sure all fire doors on the premises are inspected and compliant with fire safety regulations.
In residential building blocks, ultimately it’s the responsibility of the Freeholder, Landlord or Managing Agent to ensure that all doors leading to tenants’ flats and communal areas are regularly inspected. They also have to ensure that any doors leading to escape routes are safe, complainant and have the appropriate fire rating.
Why are Fire Door Inspections Important?
Fire door inspections are vital for the fire safety of your building, its occupants and visitors. Like other aspects of your fire protection system, fire doors need to be surveyed regularly to ensure they haven’t been damaged and function as intended.
It’s recommended to have all fire doors in your building inspected at least once a year to make sure they meet the legal requirements. This is something that should be undertaken by qualified and experienced fire safety contractors who are familiar with the latest legislations and will be able to provide adequate advice if any action needs to be taken.
Fire Door Inspections With GRJ Surveying
The experienced team here at GRJ Surveying is available to help you with fire doors inspections as well as full commercial fire inspections. Our surveyors are UKAS accredited and always up-to-date with all fire safety regulations, so they will be able to give you a reliable and detailed report on the current status of your fire doors. If any action is required our team would also be able to deliver a comprehensive plan of action to make sure your building is protected in the event of a fire.
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