Opening a fire door

Fire Door Safety Week highlights lack of general awareness in role of fire doors

IronmongeryDirect‘s survey of 2,000 adults found that 54% of people in Bedfordshire have seen a fire door being illegally wedged open.

This compares to the UK-wide statistic of almost one in two people (49%).

Also, 20% of respondents in East Anglia were unaware that fire doors must shut at all times. The national average is one in four people (25%).

Fire door propped open (c) Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (Pete Jones)
The survey also found that 31% of people in Bedfordshire did not know the difference between a fire door and an ordinary door.
John Foolkes, Business and Commercial Safety Manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue, said:
 “The results of this survey highlight the need for the public to be made more aware of the important role that fire doors play in keeping them safe.”

Legal requirement

Fire doors are a legal requirement in all commercial, public and multi-occupancy buildings. They are designed to withstand fire for between 30 and 240 minutes. When used correctly, they can make a significant difference in preventing serious incidents.
“If you are unsure about the condition or inappropriate use of a fire door, please alert the person responsible for fire safety in your building immediately.”

Fresh air and other reasons to leave fire doors open

Many reasons were given for propping open fire doors. Such as letting in fresh air and when accessing a fire door protected passage.
 
Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, Wayne Lysaght-Mason, said:
 
“Although our survey was carried out just a month after the Grenfell Tower fire in June, it is disturbing that a significant proportion of the general public seem to lack basic fire door knowledge.
We urge the public to contact the person in charge of fire safety in their building if they are unsure about the condition or use of the fire doors.”
IronmongeryDirect encourages tradespeople to use its online fire door checklist. This assesses whether fire doors are legally compliant.
 
Fire Door Safety Week runs from 25 September until 1 October.