Are your Fire Doors Safe and meet the current regulations?
Fire doors may seem like a small priority out of a big list things. But in fact it is a highly important stage in making a trustworthy fire protection system. Fire doors are an essential part of your fire protection system as they limit the speed that the fire travels at. Why would you want to risk missing out this vital stage? You wouldn’t as this can help save your occupants and reduce the potential damage to your investment. They help sub-divide a building into sections, slowing down the spread of fire and smoke and allowing occupiers to either escape the building by keeping all the escape routes clear of smoke and fire, or wait for rescue within a protected area.
All fire door designs should be tested to BS 476 Part 22 or the European equivalent BS EN 1634 Part 1, to represent how they will function in a fire and ensure they are safe.
Aarhus can make sure your fire doors are in full working order, something so small can dramatically affect the way the system works. As well as salvaging your current fire doors with additional add ons, we can also provide you with brand new fire doors.
So you may be thinking, what do you actually look for? We look at the following:
- LABEL GAPS & SEALS
- HINGES & CLOSERS
- GLASS & GLAZING
- LEAF, FRAME
Fire Door Inspections
The ‘official’ FDIS inspection where a uniquely identifiable FDIS label is affixed to each door during the inspection and the details of the door are entered onto the FDIS database. A written summary of the doors surveyed is also provided and a system generated compliance report.
Fire Door Law and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Building owners have a legal duty to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. They must appoint a ‘responsible person’ and he or she may well be the owner or the manager of the building. They could be the employer in a business, the manager of a hotel, the owner of an apartment block or the head teacher of a school for example.
Sometimes referred to as the Fire Safety Order or the RRO it came into force in 2006 and applies to virtually all premises (other than in people’s private homes) and covers nearly every type of building in England and Wales.
Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order requires a suitable maintenance regime to ensure relevant equipment is kept in an efficient state*.
This includes fire doors and escape doors.
Article 18 of the Fire Safety Order requires the responsible person to appoint one or more competent persons to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures*.
The ‘Competent Person’ will need to demonstrate competence. With regard to fire doors and escape doors.
You may remember fire certificates issued for buildings by the local fire brigade. These have no legal status anymore, and the fire service is no longer involved in checking the fire safety of buildings. That is now your responsibility.
The person responsible for fire safety in England and Wales is called the ‘Responsible Person’. They are called the ‘Duty Holder’ under Scottish law, and the regulations in Northern Ireland refer to the ‘Appropriate Person’. Their duties are all the same: to carry out the fire risk assessment and ensure the safety of anyone using their premises.
The key changes in fire safety management under the Fire Safety Order are:
- Building owners, landlords, head teachers, Estates Managers and many other people now shoulder the legal responsibility for fire safety
- They have to appoint a ‘Responsible Person’ for each building
- This person has to ensure that an annual fire risk assessment is carried out and in most cases, documented
- The risk assessment has to demonstrate that adequate attention has been paid to all aspects of fire safety management; including active and passive fire measures; signage; means of escape and evacuation procedures
- Where in-depth knowledge is lacking, the Responsible Person has a duty to engage a ‘Competent Person’ – i.e. someone with the relevant expertise to be able to implement or advice on key areas.
This means that in a very large number of cases, individuals not trained in fire safety management are being expected to become or access experts very quickly in order to fulfil their responsibilities.