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As a business owner or property manager, you are responsible for the fire safety in your business premises. Meeting regulations, along with investment in the right equipment and preventative measures, can feel like an additional business expense, but are they all really necessary?
Fire doors reduce the spread of fire and save lives
UK fire safety experts agree that the use of fire rated doors are one of the best measures to reduce the impacts and injuries caused by fire. Fire doors stop fires and ash spreading, saving you costly clean up bills, or worse, in the event of a fire emergency. It is important to know which doors should be fire rated, and which doors should be fire exits, as fire exits will act as a critical emergency exit to aid and assist the people in your building or venue to evacuate safely, helping to save lives.
Maintaining your fire door
Fire doors need to be regularly tested and used during your business’ usual fire safety drills, ensuring that regular visual checks are undertaken to ensure safety compliance. This may seem like a hassle to add to a busy workload, but the benefits of ‘a stitch in time’ check may end up saving you time and money in the long run.
After all, the costs to a business after a fire emergency can be severe. Many UK businesses may never be able to recover if they have not taken the correct prevention measures, or if their doors are not used correctly.
Fire doors are one of the most effective fire safety measures
Research from the safety management UK group suggests that the use of other fire safety equipment is not as effective as that of fire doors alone, with many cases of extreme damage seen where fire doors have not been fitted.
The costs to a business replacing an entire property worth of fittings, structures and goods would be astronomical, compared to the refit of one or two spaces kept safe by a set of effective fire doors. That’s not including any personal legal costs associated with facing charges as ‘the responsible person’ over the loss of any lives or injuries caused by a lack of fire safety.
Do not prop fire doors open during the summer
In warmer weather, it is not uncommon to see many businesses take risks by propping open their otherwise compliant fire doors. This type of behaviour puts your people, your insurance, your property and goods all at stake if an emergency were to occur.
This type of carelessness not only puts people and property at risk, but you could also face a fine if you are spotted breaking the fire regulations. Be sure that your staff are aware that their behaviour has consequences and presents danger for everyone, even “if it’s only a door” or “it’s just too hot”.
Fire door breaches remain one of the most common fines doled out to UK businesses under the Fire Safety Order.
Fire door safety checklist
The UK Fire and safety centre offers a great checklist to ensure that your door is doing what is has been designed to do. If you’re unsure, or notice anything unusual, it’s time to talk to the experts.
• Does the door frame fit properly in the wall?
• Does the fire door fit properly into its frame?
• Are you guilty of wedging open the door preventing the door from doing its job?
• Are the door seals in decent condition and sitting properly?
• Have you tested that the closing mechanism works properly?
• Can you see any damage to the steel or edge of the frames?
• Do all the hinges work well?
You may need to consider what type of door you have, and if this still meets current fire safety regulations. An expert can visit your premises to undertake such a check and let you know if your doors are still fit for purpose, or if they require any maintenance.
How do fire doors work?
How do the fire doors work? Purpose-built steel doors work as a vacuum for any space that is on fire. They work to protect surrounding spaces from any further fire spread and minimise any smoke escaping.
Fire doors work to protect any danger to your fire escape routes, by blocking the escape of flames, embers and harmful vapors as your people evacuate. The doors seal off spaces, preventing further re-entry and risk of injury.
They also support the work of fire alarms, by automatically closing down unsafe spaces, detected by the fitted alarms. The ability to control and contain flames, ash, smoke and any impending water damage necessary by your fire rescue crews means that a suitable, secure fire door is worth the cost and time necessary to ensure it is 100% safe and properly fitted.
How to price fire doors
Fire doors come at a price, but it is one that is critical for you and your staff’s livelihood. The risks associated by cutting corners, or looking for an inexpensive, low quality option door may cause you issues later on, in the event of an emergency. It’s simply just not worth the risk, or the hassle.