– Caring for your fire doors and fire escape doors.
As a commercial door and engineering company, whose business largely revolves around that of service and repair of fire doors and fire escape doors, we have deliberately steered clear of passing any comment on the recent disaster in London and the consequential debates. We felt it would be crass to use such an event to further our business, but what we have discovered is that since news of the substandard cladding, enquiries regarding fire safety and servicing of fire doors have rocketed in our offices, and those of our strategic partners.
We must find a positive reflection from all of this, and that to us, is that owners and responsible persons of multi-occupancy and commercial buildings are re-doubling their efforts to ensure the safety of the occupants. As we say on our website,
“Fire doors are engineered products that provide life and property saving functions in the event of fire. It is important that they are regularly inspected and maintained to permit them to perform at their best on the one and only occasion when they are called upon to do so.”
And we stand by that statement. So, we would like to talk about the proper procedures to ensure fire risk is correctly calculated and reduced, and the proper measures are taken to ensure the longevity of the fire doors and fire escapes of your commercial building.
Fire Risk Assessments
Prior to inspection, you need to have certain documentation in place, which is regularly updated with details such as date of install, last service and asset reference numbers which correlate to those attached to the fire doors. This is the responsibility of the building owner, main occupier, employer, landlord or facilities maintenance person. More than one person can be responsible and so collaboration is required to ensure all areas are covered.
Fire risk assessments can be carried out by any of the above, or by a selected ‘competent person’, which may be a specialist company or a staff member. A comprehensive guide on how to do a fire risk assessment is available from gov.uk.
Fire Door Inspection & Maintenance
The Code of Practice for fire safety, BS 9999 states, ‘An audit to review: a) current fire safety management procedures, including maintenance and b) the effectiveness of automatic fire safety systems, should be carried out as a matter of routine.’
The Fire Safety Order 2005 (annex V.6.2) states that, ‘All fire doors should be inspected every six months by a competent person.’ The same competent person who is responsible for the risk assessment, not in this instance a fire professional.
In addition to inspection, it is highly recommended by BH Doors that your commercial fire doors and fire escape doors are serviced once a year. These service checks will be recorded in your fire risk assessment record book and can be presented to the local fire officer when requested.
A Final Word From BH Doors
It is our hope that the recent tragedies and resulting overhaul of building fire safety in many counties across the UK, will result in positive changes and clarification to the BS9999 standard, reducing misinterpretation. The purpose of this blog is to draw attention to the responsibilities of those within commercial buildings, with regards to fire doors and fire escape doors.