5 Point Check for Your Fire Doors
- Certification: Check that your fire door is certified, there will usually be a label or plug on the top or side of the door. If your door does not include a label or plug, there is no evidence of certification, report it to the owner of your building.
- Gaps: The gaps around the top and sides of your door should be no more than 3 mm, plus or minus 1mm, so no greater than 4mm and no less than 2mm. To check if your doors meet this standard, use a £1 coin as a guide this is approximately 3mm wide. In most instances the gap at the bottom of your door can be as much as 8mm, though if you can see daylight under your door, the gap is likely to be too big. Where gaps are too big, cold smoke and fire will likely travel through the cracks rendering the fire door non compliant, if you find any gaps that exceed this, you should therefore report it to your building supervisor or responsible person, or get a fire door inspection carried out.
- Seals: The intumescent seals around your door are designed to expand when they come into contact with heat. This helps to stop the fire from spreading through the cracks and seals the door shut, If your door does not have seals, or if the seals are faulty, you should report it to the owner of your building or the responsible person.
- Hinges: Check that all hinges on the door are firmly fixed and that no screws are missing. If a door or the working parts, i.e hinges, are not correctly maintained, it may not be capable of offering the necessary protection in the event of a fire.
- Closing: A fire door will only offer the necessary protection if it is closed correctly by a door closer or locked shut as would a store cupboard or riser door be. If your door has a door closer fitted, you can test your door by opening it to about half way and then letting go. If the door closes fully by itself without catching on the floor or frame, it is fine. If it does not close correctly, report it. A fire door is no use to anyone if it does not close properly or is wedged open.
If you notice a fault with one of the fire doors in your building, never just walk on by and ignore it. There may come a time when you find yourself relying on that door and if it is not correctly maintained it will be unable to offer the protection you require.