Fire doors are one of the most important fire safety features in a building but one that rarely gets noticed, except the more you have to open when pulling a heavy suitcase.
If the fire doors were not there doing their job in an emergency, we would notice the smoke-filled escape routes and the fire being allowed to spread.
Under the Fire Safety order (Scotland) 2005 or Regulatory reform order (2005) the duty holder /responsible person should manage and maintain fire doors to a satisfactory standard as these are vital life safety component.
Lifespan of a Fire door
This can depend on their location and level of usage
According to the Door Safety and Security Foundation
|Level of Use||No. of uses in lifetime||Length of lifetime|
|High||400-5000 cycles per day||3-7 years|
|Ordinary||50-200 cycles per day||7-15 years|
|Low||1-20 cycles per day||Can last the lifetime of the building|
As we re-occupy our workplaces, this is a great opportunity to inspect the fire doors to ensure they are in good condition and fit for purpose.
Fire door Inspection – this should happen when a fire door is installed and then on a periodic basis based on use.
Periodic checks should be at least every 6 months, though doors in high use or critical locations could be checked more frequently e.g., once a week/month.
Here are the key elements to checking your fire doors
Certification– the door should have a label, or another means to confirms its FD rating. Usually, the label is on the top of the door or base of the frame. The other means could be plugs in the door leaf or door frame. Though most fire doors in existing buildings are “uncertified”, they should still be inspected.
Apertures– fire doors should not have apertures cut into an existing fire door. Cutting out an aperture can remove essential core internal elements and reduce the door’s effectiveness
If vision panels are required to aid access and safe travel for occupants, a fire door with glazing installed during manufacture should be sought.
Gaps and seals-check for excessive gaps between the door and frame. This should be no more than 3-4 mm at the top and side of the door.
The bottom edge gap should not be more than 10mm.
With double leafed doors, the leaves should be aligned to each other as well as the frame, if not the fire integrity could be seriously compromised. The difference should not be more than 3mm.
Closers – check door closers for CE marking? Check door closer is correctly attached to door leaf and door frame? Check door closer for damage to door closer arm?
Operation- observe the door in action from a variety of opening points i.e., open the door wide, open the door 5%. Does the door fully close into the frame? If a double leaf double acting door, does it close to the fully aligned position.
Other things to review
Inspect smoke seal- check for damage and where it may have been painted over during decoration.
Check for damage to hinges or missing components in hinges.
Check glazing for permanent company mark on the glass. If in cases of doubt, expert guidance should be sought from the supplier.
Perform inspections on a regular basis based on usage, minimum at least every 6 months.
Ensure users of the building know how to report damage or poor practices relating to fire doors.
Perform preventative maintenance when highlighted by inspections or reported damage.
When replacing fire doors, seek suitable replacement for the location and usage and research improved technology and materials.
Armour is proud to support Fire Door Safety Week 2021