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What Does a Fire Door Survey Entail?

Fire doors are a critical aspect of a passive fire safety system in a building. They are specifically designed to keep smoke and fire contained as much as possible to prevent a rapid spread.

UK Building Regulations for Fire Safety

Building owners and managers are required to follow UK Building Regulations along with the laws spelled out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and The Building Act of 2022. This is crucial for the safety of everyone in the building should a fire break out. The standards for fire safety in the UK are very stringent. This article offers some specific guidelines for inspecting and maintaining your fire doors, so that they remain compliant and provide the safety they’re designed for. 

Each building must have a Responsible Person whose job it is to make sure the fire doors are routinely inspected and maintained. These guidelines will cover how often the inspections should take place and the process to follow to ensure the doors comply with UK Regulations.

Frequency of Fire Door Inspections

How often the fire doors in a building are required to be inspected depends on its usage and occupancy. According to BS 9999 they should be checked every six months. However, some buildings present fire safety concerns that necessitate more frequent inspections. And buildings that attract excessive foot traffic may need to be inspected more often as well.

If your building is newly occupied, it is recommended that you perform more frequent fire door inspections, especially during its first year of occupancy. Once the inspection is done you have a responsibility to ensure that all maintenance is performed to the highest standard. This is the only way that your doors can remain in compliance.

Hiring a certified fire safety company can give you peace of mind. They will conduct regularly scheduled checks to determine what’s required whilst also performing ongoing maintenance, whether it is needed repairs or the replacement of parts.

Who is Responsible for Implementing Fire Door Safety Protocols?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 specifies that all non-domestic buildings in the UK are legally required to assign a “Responsible Person” the task of managing fire safety on the premises. These include the entrance doors of flats as well as communal areas.

This means that the Responsible Person is in charge of scheduling regular inspections and seeing that all necessary repairs and replacements are handled as soon as possible afterwards.

The designated Responsible Person must follow certain procedures to ensure that the fire doors are able to do the job for which they’ve been designed.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Perform a thorough risk assessment on each fire door.
  • Examine each fire door in its entirety to ensure that it’s being well maintained, in good working condition, and in need of no repairs.
  • Stay abreast of fire door regulations, so that the building remains compliant.
  • Coordinate with others who may be in charge to ensure that all fire doors are being maintained to the highest standard.

Inspection Process

There are a number of steps for the Reponsible Person to follow from the initial fire door installation through maintenance to ensure that the doors comply with the requirements spelled out in article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Fire door inspections are an integral part of maintaining an effective passive fire safety system. These inspections start when the doors are first installed.

Installation

The Responsible Person is in charge of having the fire doors installed, including determining what the specifications should be. If the process is handled incorrectly, your building and the safety of everyone in it would be compromised should a fire break out.

Fire doors are not all alike. They come in a variety of materials, have different frames, and the seals vary as well. The Reponsible Person has a responsibility to research the different types, consider their pros and cons, and decide which type to install in specified locations throughout the building.

It is always recommended that a certified safety expert be hired to install fire doors. They have the training and experience to provide guidance on which types are best for the premises and to ensure that the doors are properly installed. This way the building remains in compliance with the regulations.

Maintenance & Inspections

There should be regularly scheduled maintenance checks on every fire door in the building. Some owners and property managers schedule visual checks by in-house maintenance workers on a monthly basis. Official inspections by professional fire safety experts are scheduled less frequently, either quarterly or every six months.  

The entire doorset must be checked during each inspection, which includes the following:

  • Door leaf & frame: If any scratches, cracks, holes or other damage or defects are found on the door panel or frame, that element should be replaced in its entirety by a certified manufacturer.
  • Glazing & glass: All fire doors have glazing and some also have a glass window. If the glazing shows any damage or if the window is cracked and/or broken, the door must be replaced right away.
  • Hardware: The hinges, latches, and locking mechanism must be carefully inspected for any wear and tear, obstruction, or damage of any type. Test the door to ensure that it opens and closes smoothly, and that the latches and locks work properly.

To ensure that all maintenance is done properly, it is always best to hire a professional. You can count on a certified fire safety company to know how to ensure that your fire doors are repaired to British Standards for fire safety.

Stay Updated on UK Fire Safety Regulations

When selecting, installing, and maintaining fire doors, the Reponsible Person must follow all UK fire safety regulations, including those in The Building Safety Act of 2022, which went into effect in January 2023.

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