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Fire Door Inspections

Fire doors inspections save lives

Following the Grenfell tragedy, the importance of fire doors in residential properties has been reiterated. The legislative changes that have come into force since the tragedy have underlined the importance of having fire doors that are functional and in good working order, not only in residential buildings but also in commercial buildings, to protect lives and reduce damage to buildings.

Fire doors form a vital part of a building’s passive fire protection. Fire doors are purpose-built safety devices constructed to withstand fire for a period and keep it contained. They also provide an escape route should a fire start.

They need regular inspection and maintenance to ensure that they will perform as intended in the event of a fire. In commercial buildings, British Standard 9999 recommends six-monthly inspections of fire doors. In residential buildings, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations set legal requirements for how often fire doors, including flat entrance doors, should be inspected depending on the height of the building.

What are fire door inspections?

Among the many fire safety measures, fire doors serve as a critical barrier against the spread of fire and smoke, allowing for safe evacuation in an emergency. Fire doors are an important part of your buildings’ overall fire protection and health and safety plan.

They are fundamental to safeguarding lives, preventing the escalation of fire incidents, and preserving property in the event of a fire. However, due to the continuous wear and tear, exposure to environmental conditions, as well as the significance of their role, fire doors must be regularly inspected and maintained to remain effective.

A fire door is the first defence step between fire and people in your buildings. It is an essential safety device that prevents smoke and fire from spreading to other parts of a building.

An inspection is conducted to ensure they are of the right specification and maintained to the right standard.

A fire door can make the difference between life and death, and it is therefore vital that they are inspected regularly.

The cost of failure is measured in potential lives lost and the multifaceted impact on businesses and the communities they serve.

When Should You Inspect Your Fire Doors?

In a commercial building, it would be 6 monthly. In a residential building over 11m in height, the flat doors are annual and the common doors quarterly. In a small residential building, it would flat front doors annually and common doors 6 monthly. It could be any of the three answers in larger residential buildings under 11m in height. 

The importance of six monthly Fire Door Inspections for Managing Agents

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 mandates that building owners and managing agents are responsible for the maintenance and safety of fire doors. British Standard 9999 specifies a six-month inspection interval to ensure compliance with these regulations.

What are the benefits?

Having a fire inspection means you will have a system of updating and deploying best practices for continued fire safety. It means that you can be assured that your fire doors and components are properly and legally maintained throughout the year so that in an emergency, occupants will have a better chance of a smooth evacuation.

  1. Enhanced Safety and Evacuation Efficiency: In the event of a fire, well-maintained fire doors play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the building's occupants. They are instrumental in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, thus providing more time for a safe and orderly evacuation. This can significantly reduce the risk of injury or loss of life during an emergency.

  2. Protecting Investments: Fire doors are not just a safety feature; they are also an investment in protecting your property. A functional fire door can be the difference between localised damage and widespread destruction. Regular inspections help maintain the door’s structural integrity, ensuring they perform effectively in containing fires. This can lead to lower repair costs, reduced insurance premiums, and minimal business disruption.

  3. Preserving Structural Integrity and Contents: By preventing the spread of fire, fire doors help to preserve the structural integrity of the building and protect its contents. This is particularly important in commercial settings where costly equipment or valuable inventory is stored.

  4. Business Continuity and Financial Health: Regular fire door inspections are a critical aspect of business risk management. By mitigating the risk of extensive fire damage, they help ensure business continuity. This is crucial for the financial health of the business, as it minimizes potential downtime and loss of revenue following a fire incident.

  5. Legal and Insurance Benefits: Staying compliant with fire safety regulations can also have legal and insurance benefits. It can result in lower insurance premiums as insurers often look favourably upon proactive safety measures. Additionally, compliance reduces the risk of legal liabilities in the event of a fire.

  6. Long-term Cost Savings: Regular inspections can lead to significant long-term cost savings. Identifying and rectifying minor issues promptly can prevent costly major repairs or replacements in the future.

  7. Reputation Management: For businesses, compliance with fire safety standards, including regular fire door inspections, can enhance your reputation as a responsible and safety-conscious organization. This can be an important factor in attracting and retaining clients, tenants, or customers.

  8. Employee and Tenant Peace of Mind: Regular inspections and maintenance of fire safety measures, including fire doors, provide employees, tenants, and visitors with peace of mind, knowing that their safety is taken seriously. This can contribute to a more positive perception of the building’s management and a more comfortable and secure environment.

  9. Environmental Protection: By containing fires and potentially reducing their severity, well-maintained fire doors can also contribute to environmental protection. They help prevent fires from causing extensive damage, which can lead to harmful emissions and waste.

How can Ligtas support you?

Ligtas offer an independent fire door inspection service, meaning that our clients receive a clear and detailed understanding of the condition of all fire doors within the premise inspected.

All our fire door inspections are carried out by a certified NAFDI (National Association of Fire Door Inspectors) assessor. This gives the tenants, building managers and owners the peace of mind that the fire doors within their property have been completely checked and that any remedial actions needed to meet the requirements of BS476 have been highlighted.

The inspection will involve checking:

  • That the gap around the door frame and threshold is correct
  • That hinge condition and certification
  • Signage overhead door closes
  • Fire-related glass
  • Intumescent seals
  • Smoke seals
  • Locks, latches, and handles are in good working order
  • This includes any riser or electrical cupboards.

Following the fire door inspection, you will receive a detailed report which itemises the pass/ fail rating for each door, based on current required criteria. The report also includes a full list of any remedial actions needed to bring the doors up to the necessary standard.

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