Fire Doors should be regularly inspected for damage that may prevent the door from performing in the event of a fire. The safety of a building’s occupants can be seriously at risk when Fire Doors are not maintained regularly and kept in good working order.
Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are installed correctly and adequately maintained for them to be fit for purpose. The authorities have the power to prosecute or even close buildings down where breaches are discovered.
The inspection should be a combination of visual and mechanical checks, cleaning and lubrication. We recommend that damaged components are replaced immediately with like-for-like products to maintain the performance of the door and the validity of the fire certification.
Our step by step guide below highlights some of the checks that need to be made, including the main ironmongery items that require regular inspection.
The onus is on the Responsible Person in a building to ensure that Fire Doors are fit for purpose. In a commercial property, the Responsible Person is the: employer, owner, landlord, occupier, someone with control of the premises, facilities manager, building manager, risk assessor. There will often be more than one Responsible Person in any business, and they must work together to ensure they meet all requirements of the Fire Safety Order.
Checks must be carried out at least every six months, or every three months in building with high usage. Buildings that have been newly occupied may need more frequent checks in the first year of usage. Particular attention should be given to doors where traffic is high and where they are more likely to be damaged in daily use. These should be checked as frequently as weekly or monthly depending on usage.
Some of the steps you will need to cover in your checks are as follows:-
The Fire Door must be certified and there will be a label on the top or side of the door to confirm that the door is CE Marked.
- Vision Panels
Vision Panels must be intact with no cracks, and there should be no breaks in the beading around the glass.
The gap around the top and sides of the door should be less than 4mm from the frame. Between the door and the floor, the gap should be less than 8mm when the door is closed.
- Door & Door Frame
Ensure that there is no damage to the door or the door frame. The frame must be firmly attached to the wall.
- Door Closers
A Fire Door must have a door closer installed, with the necessary intumescent packer, to ensure they close automatically, except where it carries a ‘Fire Door Keep Locked’ sign. Ensure the door closer is correctly fitted and is not damaged in any way. Check that all screw fixings are tight and periodically apply a little light machine oil to the arm knuckle joint.
Open the door to various points and allow it to close – it should do so with no restrictions from the floor or frame. Once closed, check that the door is sitting against the stop. Any wedges or other items used to keep a door open must be removed. For double rebated doors, ensure a door selector is installed and working correctly.
- Hold Open Devices
Any hold open device must release the doors to close when the fire alarm sounds. Test every week to ensure they are in good working order and that they activate correctly when the fire alarm does sound. Ensure the door closer is functioning correctly.
- Fire Seals
Intumescent seals must be installed in the frame or door leaf, continuously around the frame. Ensure they are free from damage, firmly attached within the groove and not painted over.
Every Fire Door must have at least three hinges installed with the necessary intumescent packers. Check that they fixed firmly with all the screws intact and tight. Ensure there is no oil leakage and apply light machine oil to the hinge knuckle if necessary.
- Latches & Locks
When latches or locks are being fitted these must be installed with the necessary intumescent packers. If the door has a latch, ensure the door closes firmly into the latch & the latch engages properly so the door will not reopen without the lever handle being operated. Check the latch holds the door in place without rattling.
Check all fixings are tight including the grub screws, and ensure the lever operates smoothly and returns fully to the horizontal position.
- Panic Hardware
Ensure any panic hardware is functioning correctly and engaging with the keeps without obstruction. Check all fixings are tight & occasionally lubricate the shoot/latch bolts and pivot points.
- Flush Bolts
Flush bolts must be installed with the necessary intumescent packers. Ensure these are operating correctly and that keeps are free of dirt. The shoot can be oiled if required.
Fire safety is common sense, and regular maintenance will ensure that your building and the occupants are kept safe. We recommend that all public buildings, hospitals, schools, and offices should use an FDIS Inspector to carry out their regular Fire Door inspections and to provide professional advice.
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