5 Common Fire Door FaultsPosted on 2016-08-25
We cannot stress enough just how important it is to check your Fire Doors. It’s not just a question of having one installed, you need to be aware of the components that work together to save lives and the common issues that could prevent them from doing their job!
1. Faulty Fire Seals
In order for them to function, all doors need a gap between the perimeter of the door and the door frame allowing the door to function correctly, enabling it to open and close whilst also accommodating any movement within the building. An intumescent fire or smoke seal is a required component of a compliant Fire Door as in the event of a fire they will expand to retain the integrity of the door and minimise the amount of smoke and fire getting through the gaps.
61% of fire or smoke seals on the Fire Doors inspected were not fit for purpose or compliant with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.
2. Incorrect Signage
Fire Door Signage is there for a reason, it is used to guide people in an emergency and also highlight doors that must be kept shut at all times. There is clear guidance on Fire Door signage so it is shocking to hear that 1 in 3 Fire Doors inspected still displayed incorrect or outdated information.
3. Fire Door Damage
Another important component of a Fire Door is the main door leaf itself and damage to this is a common occurrence. The door leaf must sit properly against the door stop and must be free of distortion, any glue on veneers or lips must be firm and checked often. The door must also be free from any dents or holes caused by day to day wear and tear. 15% of the doors inspected had visible damage, this would mean the fire door is not compliant with regulations and could have repercussions to occupants or employees should an emergency arise.
4. Unsuitable Hinges
There are a number of requirements for hinges when it comes to Fire Doors and it is hard to believe that 1 in 5 of the doors inspected had unsuitable hinges. In order to comply all Fire Doors require a minimum of 3 hinges and each hinge must have all screws fixed (it is important that the screws are also the right size!). The hinges must be free of non-combustible packing and be free of metal fragments or oil leakage (as these are signs of wear and tear).
5. Excessive Gaps
Excessive gaps between the door and the frame of over 3mm can directly affect the safety of your Fire Door and how it would perform in a fire situation. A door that has been assembled with excessive gaps cannot hold back fire, smoke or gases. A gap will provide oxygen to fuel the fire making the situation worse and when a hose is used against it by a firefighter the door would just collapse. 34% of Fire Doors inspected had excessive gaps which could lead to a devastating situation in an emergency.