Building owners, employers and operators – do you know your fire door responsibilities?
For our third mini blog of the week to raise awareness of Fire Door Safety Week, we’re focusing on the responsibilities on building owners, employers and operators concerning fire doors.
In most circumstances, if you are an employer, the owner, landlord, an occupier or have ultimate control of the premises, you are responsible for fire safety. This is known as the Responsible Person.
Regular checks of all fire doors must take place as stated in the BS9999: Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings – Code of Practice, using a reputable company who are skilled and third party accredited in the importance of working with fire doors.
Don’t Delay Inspections
Ensuring fire doors are up to standard is a valuable task that should not be underestimated. After installation, fire doors should be inspected regularly (minimum of 6 monthly inspections) or more frequently depending on your fire risk assessment, to make sure they are always ready to perform as intended.
If there are modifications to the fire door or its surroundings, including the frame, locks, latches, hinges or door closers, this could alter the door’s performance.
When problems are noticed, act immediately. Do not postpone fixing issues, as this could have untold consequences should a fire occur; not just for the safety of the building and the people inside, but lawfully as proceedings can be brought against the Responsible Person.
Did you know?
Around 3 million new fire doors are purchased and installed every year in the UK.
In a 2014 survey, fire risk assessors found 80% of escape routes obstructed, 65% of fire doors wedged open and 85% with door closers disconnected.
In a review of 100 cases prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire doors were the second highest reason for prosecutions.
Implications of not having compliant fire doors
From the obvious implications of putting yourself, employees, tenants etc in danger, many prosecutions take place every year to companies who breach the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, examples are:
- A landlord at a multiple occupancy house was fined £20,250 following fire safety breaches (including fire doors)
- An independent school was fined £24,000 for having amongst other items non-functional fire doors in student sleeping areas.
- A hotel was fined £25,000 for fire safety breaches including fire doors which were wedged open.
We hope the above has given you guidance on your responsibilities and the implications to you and your business if these aren’t followed.
Here at ProFire Safety & Training, our fire safety engineers, technicians and risk assessors are always on hand to give you advice based on their years of experience, many of which were within UK Fire & Rescue Services.
For more information on our fire door inspection services please contact us at email@example.com – we’re here to help.