All about Fire Doors: Facts and Advice
Fire doors are essential for slowing and controlling the spread of fire throughout any commercial or industrial property. As long as your fire doors are professionally fitted and implemented correctly, you can greatly reduce the amount of damage that a fire can cause. However, neglecting or failing to recognise the importance of a fire door can drastically diminish the fire safety of your property.
Fire door benefits
First, it’s important to know what you risk giving up when you don’t treat fire doors with the appropriate amount of respect.
Fire doors bring a slew of benefits to a property; most notably, they section off different parts of building during a fire. This means that, due to the heat-resistance and strength of the doors themselves, a blaze is contained to certain areas for a period of time. This is vital when it comes to evacuation and emergency response: the more time you have before a fire grows out of control, the greater the chance of escaping the building safely. 60 minutes – or even 30 minutes – of fire resistance makes all the difference, and that’s exactly what fire doors provide.
Fire door habits
Although fire doors are substantially different in nature compared to normal doors, not everyone treats them as such. A common habit you’ll see is the use of standard door props to keep a fire door open during the day. This is not safe. It contravenes fire safety regulations and negates the fundamental benefits of a fire door. With the door held open, how is it supposed to contain the fire?
In the case of an emergency, the door needs to operate automatically. A manual door stop interferes with that function. The best alternative by far is to install a wireless fire door guard. This way, you can still keep the door open for access purposes, but have peace of mind that it will close automatically should the fire alarm start to sound.
You might be able to install a standard door easily on your own, but fire doors require a trained professional to do so. A fire door is made of dedicated components throughout. The frame and ironmongery – handle, locks, hinges – need to be CE marked, custom to the fire door, and fitted correctly by an expert. Requirements are different depending on the setting, which is why it’s vital that you don’t just jump in and try to take care of installation yourself.
Intumescent fire door seals are a key example of this. These seals expand to plug the gaps around the door, performing a crucial role when a fire breaks out. These seals, as well as smoke seals, require professional installation to ensure they work reliably in an emergency.
Maintenance, signage and advice
Ongoing maintenance is necessary in order to keep your fire doors operating properly over the years. You should look to have your fire doors tested and inspected regularly, every six months is recommended, to keep your fire safety plan up to date.
Dedicated fire door signage is also useful – it communicates important fire safety information and instructs occupants on what actions to take in an emergency.
Get in touch with professional fire safety advisors to make sure you have the right fire safety plan in place for your property. If you need advice on the most suitable fire doors, or information and training regarding any aspect of fire safety, the team at Target Fire Protection are here to help.
Operating not just throughout Manchester, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale but across the entire UK, Target Fire Protection provides a range of training and maintenance services to protect your building should a fire occur. We carry out thorough fire risk assessments and suggest appropriate improvements to your current fire safety plan, and also offer in–depth training to commercial business owners and employees. To find out more about all of our services, simply contact our friendly team today.