29 January 2015
Analysis by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) has revealed some disturbingly common and large-scale problems regarding the effectiveness of fire doors in buildings across the UK.
Inspectors visited 31 sites and uncovered 2506 faults in 677 doors, identifying issues that have the potential to reduce their ability to hold back smoke and flames in the case of a fire. These include:
• More than 61% had problems with fire or smoke seals
• More than a third had incorrect signage
• 230 fire doors inspected had gaps bigger than 3mm between the door and its frame (as specified in BS9999:2008 and BS8214:2008)
• More than 20% had unsuitable hinges
• Almost one in six had damage to the door leaf.
Neil Ashdown, FDIS general manager, said: “These stats make interesting reading showing an average 3.7 faults per door inspected.
“Fire doors in the majority of UK building stock are not fit for purpose. Compartmentation is the most effective means for providing fire safety and this survey shows how seriously safety is being compromised.’’
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.