Fire doors save lives; that’s a fact. Most times, employees walk through the fire doors in their office or workplace without giving these valuable industrial security solutions a second glance, assuming that they would be kept safe in the event of a fire.
The fire door is effectively a security door, providing an invaluable buffer between a building’s occupants and a deadly fire and smoke. But of all the fire doors Bristol offices have, how can you know if those in your workplace have been correctly fitted and would save you in the event of a fire?
Here’s what you need to check to be sure that your company’s fire doors are in tip-top condition and are fitted correctly.
Check for certification
All fire doors should have a label or a plug, either on the top or side of the door, to show that it is a certificated fire door. Certification indicates that the door is made according to specific regulations and is, therefore, fit for use as a fire door.
If the fire door does not have certification labels on it, alert your company health and safety officer right away.
Mind the gap
Fire doors must have gaps around the sides and top that are consistently less than 4mm when the door is closed. A £1 coin measures about 3mm in thickness, so you can use one to check a fire door’s gaps.
Note that the gap beneath the door can be slightly greater than this, and up to 8mm is not unheard of. As a general rule of thumb, if you can see clear daylight underneath the door, it’s likely that the gap is too big.
The idea of a fire door is to prevent the spread of fire. If the gap around the door is too great, smoke and fire will be able to travel through the cracks, creating a hazard.
Check that the door seals are intact
Take a close look at the seals around the door or frame. The seals must be undamaged and fully intact. The seals work by expanding on contact with a heat source and sealing the door to prevent smoke and fire from getting through.
If you notice that the door seals are absent or damaged, report it. The fire door will not be effective if the seals are broken.
Check the fire door hinges
Look closely at the fire door hinges. A fire door should have three or more hinges, which should be firmly fixed with no broken or missing screws. Any damage should be reported right away. If the fire door is not properly maintained, it may not perform adequately and keep the fire at bay for long enough.
Check that the fire door closes properly
Make sure that the fire door closes properly. You can do that by opening the door about halfway and then allow the door to close by itself. Like a security door, the fire door should shut firmly onto the latch without getting stuck on the frame or the floor.
A fire door is only fully effective when it is closed properly. A fire door is absolutely useless if it is left wedged open or does not close fully.
If you think that the building you work in has faulty fire doors, report it to whoever looks after the health and safety of workers or manages the facilities of the workplace.
TPS Gates & Doors is now an approved installer for ADT Fire and Security. We can inspect your fire doors to make sure they’re correctly fitted and would be effective in the event of a fire. So, call us now for more advice and information on how we could help you.
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