fire door effectiveness

How effective are your fire doors?

A recent report has highlighted issues with fire doors installed in high rise buildings which could have led to the doors not doing their job in the event of a fire.

A recent report by Trident Building Consultancy, published as part of Fire Door Safety Week in September 2019, highlighted issues with fire doors fitted in high-rise apartment blocks.

The company’s surveyors carried out an intrusive survey of fire doors in multiple residential tower blocks.

The work was prompted in part by the Grenfell Tower fire where the condition of fire doors may have been a factor in the spread of the fire.

The survey found that the door frame installations did not meet requirements as they had not been fitted correctly, with gaps packed out with non-fire-resistant materials.

The surveys also found a lack of maintenance records, inadequate door closers and damaged or painted over intumescent seals (the seals which expand when exposed to heat, sealing the door frame).

As a result of the surveys a significant number of fire doors and their frames had to be replaced.

The report made some recommendations with regard to fire doors:

  • When having doors installed make sure that someone competent is employed, ideally with third party certification, and they follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Aim for a tight fit around doors and a door closer that closes the door fully.
  • Any glazing in the fire door should be fire-rated.
  • It’s good practice to carry out regular fire door inspections to check for any damage or deterioration.