Fire Door Inspections
What is a Fire Door?
Fire resisting doors, more commonly known as fire doors are a form of passive fire protection. In the event of a fire, they are designed to complete the seal of the fire compartment and contain the fire and smoke as specified in the fire plan of the building. These fire compartments provide protection for evacuation routes as well as delaying/preventing the spread the fire and smoke, making it easier for fire services to combat the fire and protecting the rest of the property.
Why do Fire Doors Need to be Inspected?
It has long been recognised that a lack of fire door inspection and maintenance is a major safety issue across the UK. Fire door inspections are essential to identify the following:
- Manufacturing faults that were not identified during the installation that prevent the fire door from achieving its required fire resistance
- Incorrect specification and / or procurement of the fire door leading to a fire door being installed with a reduced fire resistance rating than required
- An incorrectly installed fire door leaving large gaps between the any of the leaves and the frame.
- Wrong materials used to fill the gaps between the frame and the wall edge
- Maintenance or modifications that have been undertaken that do not conform to the correct standard preventing the fire door from functioning as specified
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Fire Door Inspection
Building Regulations go in hand with Fire Safety Order 2005 to outline specifically what fire door inspections must cover. This includes an examination of:
- Seals – to ensure they are complete and in place to specification
- Operation – to ensure the door is functioning as it should
- Ironmongery – to ensure that components such as hinges, door closers and any other aspects to the door are correct, in place and working as they were meant too
- Wear and tear – to ensure the door and it’s components have not become damaged in a way that would impede their functioning
- Any modifications – to ensure that nobody has altered the door, for instance, with unspecified parts
It is important to remember that all fire doors are manufactured, specified, procured, installed, and inspected and maintained with the understanding that the door in combination with the specific set of components will perform as needed for the location that it is placed in.
Competent inspections ensure that errors have not occurred during this process, and the fire door is able to perform as expected.
How Often Inspections are needed
While Fire Safety Order 2005 tells us that fire doors should be inspected and maintained at least annually, it also recognises that this may not be enough. Inspection frequency should be increased based on need. For instance, if a door is more likely to become damaged, such as from heavy traffic, or if it is more critical to the fire safety design of a building, the responsible person is expected to have the door inspected more often.
Just like any other passive fire protection system, it is essential for a fire door to perform as intended in the event of a fire. Any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can affect the performance. As such, a fire door should be regularly checked to ensure it functions correctly and will perform to its designed standard in the event of a fire.
Periodic checks should be carried out at least once every six months although newly occupied buildings may require more frequent checks in the first year of use.
Plus, Where the fire door is in high use, it should be checked more frequently than other doors in the building. (E.g. once per week/month)
Are Fire Door Inspections a legal requirement?
Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO/FSO) makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained in order for them to be fit for purpose.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, often referred to as the RRO or FSO, applies to all buildings other than domestic housing, and replaces 118 pieces of previous fire legislation, including the old fire certificate. The law now shifts responsibility from the fire authorities for fire safety to whoever has day-to-day control of premises.
The authorities have the power to enforce the RRO/FSO and do prosecute or even close buildings down where breaches are discovered.
What are the responsibilities regarding Fire Door Inspections?
The legal duties in respect to fire doors vary slightly by territory in the UK, but the requirements for compliance are largely the same and anyone in charge of a premises – such as building owners, landlords, head teachers and estates managers – bears a legal duty of care.
Under Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005, this means they must have an understanding of fire safety and take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and ensure occupants can safely escape in the event of a fire. A competent “responsible person” must be nominated whose duty it is to assist in these tasks.
The legislation highlights the need for the inspection and maintenance of fire doors, stating that the responsible person must ensure fire doors are “subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”.
Failing to comply could lead to a criminal prosecution.
At Hydro-X Fire, not only can we install sufficient access into your ductwork systems, but we can also assist with the following fire damper services:
Fire Damper Testing:
This should be carried out by law at least on a 12-monthly basis.
Fire damper installation & replacement
These come in many forms from small perforation to fire damper units located completely outside of the fire break.
Fusible Link Sourcing & Replacement:
These come in many forms and sizes and are a vital piece in the functionality of the fire damper and efficiency of the HVAC system
Your fire stopping needs to be inspected and any defects rectified to ensure the effectiveness of the fire plan and the safety of the occupants using the building
DW144 Access Panel Installation:
BS 9999 Annex W.1 Inspection and Maintenance (Note 2) states that: “The provision of access panels facilitates such cleansing, other maintenance, and also fire-fighting.”
Hydro-X Fire will analyse the above fire damper defects and suggest the most efficient solution possible. For further fire damper remedial information or to get a quote please use the contact sheet below.
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