Most business owners will agree that one of the single most important safety measures in any building is the fire door. This simple construction is designed to compartmentalise any outbreak of fire and give people time to leave and reach safety. In many cases, it can keep the fire contained until the fire services arrive, therefore minimising damage, and over the years it’s saved countless lives.
Because of this, ensuring that your fire doors are fit for purpose is key if you want to maintain the right level of health and safety in your business. Unfortunately, we often take these doors for granted. According to recent research, over 70% of small and medium sized businesses have propped open a fire door for one reason or another, therefore reducing the level of safety. In other offices, fire doors can often be found blocked or in state of disrepair.
As an employer and business owner, of course, you have a duty of care when it comes to your employees. That includes making sure that you have the right fire safety processes in place.
One area that often gets overlooked is having regular inspections of fire doors to make sure that they are working properly. There are a variety of things to look for when it comes to these doors. For instance, you need a door that has been built to the right specifications. This is normally the case in newer buildings but can be different in older ones. Fire doors are graded according to the amount of time that they can hold back a fire. For instance, an FD30 rated door should protect for about 30 minutes.
With regular opening and closing as well as the ravages of age, doors will begin to degrade so it’s important to have regular inspections and replace if necessary. Issues that can arise vary but include:
- The seals around the door have degraded. In the event of a fire, these seals are designed to expand and become airtight. If they don’t work properly, smoke and heat can find their way through and spread the fire.
- Door closers can also be an issue. These are the mechanisms that automatically make the door swing shut after it is opened. This mean that your door may not be closed when a fire breaks out causing obvious danger.
- Other issues can be damaged or incorrectly fitted hinges or having too larger gap at the bottom of the door.
If you’re not in tune with the latest fire door technology, it can be difficult to spot if something is wrong. On the surface, your fire door may well look perfectly fine. It’s only when a professional inspection is carried out that you discover there are issues which need to be addressed.
With 40 years’ of experience designing and building everything from offices refurbishments to new homes and offices, the Hightown Group knows a thing or two about creating safe environments. We can carry out fire door inspections for your business so that you can be sure your work area is safe and secure. Our qualified engineers will be able to check everything from your door seals and closing mechanism to the locks and latches and glass/glazing.
Contact us today to find out more.