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Top things you should not do with fire doors

We all understand, and appreciate, how vitally important fire doors are in keeping us safe, especially in workplaces and other public buildings. Fire doors are part of a building’s passive fire protection system and are fundamental to fire safety strategies for any building. They provide critical protection within a building, such as escape routes, to stairs and corridors, and slow the spread of any fire outbreak.

Effective fire doors ensure rooms are compartmentalized to help keep fire, and harmful smoke, in the area in which the fire starts, and to protect occupants, and contents, of other areas of the building. As such, it is of paramount importance that these fire doors operate correctly – they must be fitted with the correct hardware and have the mandatory correct signage for fire and escape doors. Glazed fire doors must also comply with fire resistant requirements with the correct glazing materials and standards. In order for these internal fire doors to be fully effective, however, they must not be compromised in any way.

Here are some common errors in fire safety in buildings, and things you should NEVER do with fire doors specifically:

Never lock an emergency fire exit door

Emergency fire exit doors must not be locked, or fastened in a way that they cannot easily, and immediately, be opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency.

Never leave a fire door wedged open

A fire door must NOT be left open in any circumstance. Apart from the obvious consequence of potential loss of life, or injury, and damage caused by a fire spreading throughout a building, it is actually illegal for a fire door to be propped open. As such, all fire doors MUST be fitted with an automatic closing system.

The consequences of wedging open a fire door can be catastrophic on a number of levels. Firstly, obviously, an open fire door is not fit for purpose as it will not prevent flames, or smoke, from entering other parts of the building, therefore endangering life. Secondly, legally, a wedged fire door can be deemed as knowingly putting life at risk, and those persons responsible, could be fined or even imprisoned. Thirdly, in the event of a fire, and there being evidence of a fire door being wedged open, then insurance policies can be invalidated, and insurance companies within their right to not pay out on any fire damage incurred.

Never allow a fire door to be blocked

A fire door not only acts as a deterrent to the spread of fire and smoke inside a building, but can also be a vital escape route. If access to the fire door is blocked, then this avenue to safety is severely compromised – so all passageways and corridors leading to a fire door should always be kept clear.

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