Advice for Building Owners on assurance and assessment of flat entrance fire doors has just been published by the MHCLG (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/859279/Annex_A_-_Assurance_and_Assessment_of_Fire_Doors_-_January_2020.pdf). It provides some great advice on flat entrance doors. If you need any advice on your fire doors or if you need a competent person to carry out an inspection of your fire doors please do not hesitate to contact us on 07950 575695
This is my fifth blog showing another typical problem we come across very often with fire doors. This time we are showing a typical problem with the installation of the door rather than the door itself. The photo shows a fire door installation just before the architraves were going to be installed. There are a number of ways of filling the gap between the frame and the wall but this type of foam is not one of them. The gap between the frame and the wall is also too large and requires alteration. If you are having new fire doors installed give us a call (07950 575 695), preferably before the architrave is fitted, and we will check the installation has been carried out correctly!
We recently inspected the fire doors at a brand new block of flats that had only just become tenanted. Places where people sleep are considered higher risk and you would have thought that the fire doors would have been installed correctly. From an owners point of view, they also felt that as the doors were newly installed that there would be very few problems. How wrong they were. Every single door failed with numerous problems which are losted below:
- Door closers fitted incorrectly and some were not closing the doors.
- Plastic packers behind hinge blades.
- Large gaps around doors
- Doors fitted proud of the frame and thus reducing the overall effective thickness of the door that will withstand a fire.
- Smoke seals not touching the door/frame and smoke, the biggest killer, could pass through.
- Incorrectly installed glass to vision panels to doors.
- Non fire rated locks fitted to doors.
- Insufficient sized intumescent strips fitted to doors.
- 60 minute fire rated doors increased in width using thinner softwood timber
- 60 minute doors fitted into walls that would only hold back a fire for no more than around 15 minutes (Photo below)
The list goes on and on. The lesson here is that you should never assume that a builder, even a well known large construction company, knows what they are doing when installing fire doors. The problem with the construction sector is that projects are lead by cost rather than quality. Please ensure that, even with newly completed projects, your fire doors are independently checked by a suitably qulaified and competent person.
If you would like an inspection carried out on your fire doors, or you just have some questions on fire doors that you need answering, please do not hesitate to contact us on either 07950 575 695 or email@example.com.
This is my 4th blog showing another typical problem we come across very often with fire doors. This one is actually not the fire door but it is something that we check when we carry out a fire door inspection.
In the picture below there is a brand new fire door and above the door is also a new vent. The door is rated for 30 minutes for fire and smoke control but the vent is not fire rated at all and it has no smoke control. In the event of a fire the doors will do their job but the vent will allow fire and smoke to pass pretty quickly from one side of the doors and into the protected stairwell where persons are trying to escape. This job has been signed off as acceptable and the owners would not have known there was a problem if they hadnt appointed us to carry out an inspection
Call us now to arrange for an inspection of the fire doors in your property (07950 575695) and help protect the people in your building.
This is my third blog showing another typical problem we come across very often with fire doors. It is not obvious but the overhead door closer has not been fitted as per the manufacturers instructions. This may not seam much of an issue but the way that it has been fitted means that it is not as powerful as it should be. This loss of power may not close the door or even hold the door closed in the event of pressure changes in a fire. Call us now to arrange for an inspection of the fire doors in your property (07950 575695) and help protect the people in your building.
This is our second article highlighting the kinds of common fire door problems we see every day. In the photo below you can see a couple of different problems.
First - Did you know Fire Escape signage should be fitted above or to the side of the doors and not on the doors? Easy mistake to make but easy to fix.
Second - One of the parts of the leaf selector has not been fitted to the doors. This part ensures that when the slave leaf is opened the main leaf is pushed sufficiently open to operate the leaf selector and hold the main leaf open until the slave leaf has shut again. With this part missing, as can be seen from the photo, it is possible for the slave leaf to be opened on its own and then it will not fully close, rendering the doors ineffective in a fire.
Your first phone consulatation is free so please contact us if you have any questions about your fire door responsibilities or need any fire doors surveyed or inspected.
Fire Door Safety Week is here. Pledge your support at https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/
If you need any help or further advice to understand your responsibilities or you need a fire door inspection, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Tel:07950-575695, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the chat app on this site.
Here is our first post about typical problems we find with fire doors. In a recent survey, every single door failed and we saw all of the typical problems that we can help with. Remember there are legal requirements to maintain fire doors to the correct standard, so do get in touch if you are concerned about yours. The first phone consultation is free! Below is a typical example of bad installation.- an oversized hole for the handle (there is a 2mm tolerance) and holes must be filled.with intumescent mastic. This type of poor installation can lead to early failure of a fire door.
Contact us now for any fire door checks, surveys or help.
Attended the FDIS Inspectors Working Forum yesterday in Birmingham. It was good to catch up with like minded people with the same qualification. We just need to get it out there that using 3rd party accredited inspectors is the way forward and it ensures that the person inspecting your fire doors has been independently assessed as being suitably qualified to do so.
www.fire-magazine.com have published an article with a stark warning of probable multiple fatalities due to a fire in a residential care home. The article states that there have been a growing number of fires at which, but for good luck and an early attendance, serious life loss would have occurred. Hinchley Wood in Surrey is cited as an example. Unfortunately one person did die in this fire but dozens of others were rescued. The owners were subsequently fined £360,000 for failing to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessment, a failure to take general fire precautions, failure to ensure maintenance of systems and fire doors and not providing staff with adequate training. The article then goes on to state that in London alone there were 421 accidental fires in nursing and care homes between 2014 and 2016.
We understand that funding is tight for the companies that manage these types of properties but surely saving lives should be of the highest priority. Maintaining fire doors will hold back the fire and slow down the spread of the fire, giving residents time to escape and also reduce the damage caused to the property. Appointing FDIS Certified Fire Door Inspectors to inspect the doors at the properties will ensure that the doors are checked correctly and that any recommended works are correct and no money is wasted, carrying out works that are not necessary or incorrect, causing further works to be required and additional costs.
According to an article on ‘carehome.co.uk’ the London Fire Brigade are asking care homes to urgently review their emergency staff training and check staff know how to safely evacuate residents after finding serious fire safety failures in over half of care homes in London. The article then went on to say that 29% had failures relating to fire doors, 10% had inadequate training and 14% had evidence of poor emergency planning. I am seeing every day the poor standard of fire door installations and often the lack of a suitable fire strategy. In my opinion the percentage of fire doors failing suitable standards is much higher than 29%. Something needs to be done to get the message out there and inform the right people what they should be doing..
‘Residents of a care home were forced to move out with less than 24 hours notice after an inspection by Kent Fire and Rescue Service. A number of concerns were raised about safety in the home and it was said that no-one could stay on site overnight until the works were complete. Inspecting officers said failures in fire precautions presented a serious risk and immediate action was necessary. The problems included fire doors not being up to the task of keeping a blaze out.’
The above was taken from an article in the Kent Messenger in January 2019.
Take action and prevent this from happening by getting your fire doors inspected by a suitably qualified Fire Door Inspector.
The Government is undertaking an investigation into the fire door industry and has issued guidance to building owners and occupiers. This is following concerns about consistency of flat front entrance doors against the required performance standards. It is vital that people are safe in their homes. The following is a link to the advice from the Government:
The crux of their advice is that although some composite fire doors may not perform to the required standard, all doors can provide protection in a fire when closed. All doors should be kept in good condition and self closing mechanisms should be working correctly.
Advice for high rise residents is also available on the National fire Chiefs Council website.
At present, testing is ongoing to timber doors but no timber doors had failed up to the date of publication of the advice on the 14th November 2018. This doesn’t mean that all timber fire doors in buildings will hold back a fire for the required period of time as many doors are not installed or maintained correctly. Get your doors inspected by a suitably qualified fire door inspector to ensure that the people beyond that door are suitably protected.
Fire Safety in HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupation) can sometimes be neglected. A lot of the fines with regards to fire safety are often issued to landlords of HMO’s. Take a look at the following fact card from BWF. It is concise and provides information on the facts of fire doors in HMO’s:
When employing the services of a Fire Door Inspector please make sure they are qualified. If you employ someone who is an FDIS Approved Inspector you can be sure that they know what they are doing. An FDIS Inspector has had to pass a Diploma in fire doors and then they have had to pass an on site assessment with an independent third party assessor testing them on their knowledge of fire doors and assessing how they inspect fire doors. There are fire door inspectors out there that have just taken a one day course, which in our opinion is nowhere near sufficient. We have used an App that these assessors use and in our opinion it does not cover half of the stuff you need to be looking at. Be safe and be sure to employ someone who is suitably qualified. Please don’t just go for the cheaper option as it may cost you a lot more in the future.
A landlord has been given a huge fine of £177K for not meeting his obligations under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005.
Click on the link below to see a report:
This report lists issues with fire doors and escape doors. Hopefully this size if fine will highlight the problem to more people and make more people realize their responsibilities with regards to fire and escape doors.
The publication FM World has an article this week on maintaining and inspecting fire doors. It is a brief article but anything that highlights the importance of maintaining and inspecting fire doors is good in my book. It also makes reference to the FDIS scheme of which I am a Certified Inspector.
See the link below to read the article:
Fire Door Safety week is from the 24th to the 30th September. Click on the link below to see what is is all about and to get some handy tips on inspecting and maintaining fire doors:
Anything that increases the awareness of problems with fire doors has got to be a good thing
The following link is also pretty useful