Case study of a new block of flats

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 listed 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 sansompk@gmail.com. 

Fire door survey Poor walling