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Are your fire doors fit for purpose?

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 will make it a legal requirement from 23rd January 2023 for the responsible persons of all multi-occupied residential buildings in England with storeys over 11 metres in height to:

  • undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts
  • undertake, on a best endeavour basis, annual checks of all flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts.

There is a requirement, even if your building is not over 11m or not even residential, to check all the fire doors.  Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible persons to maintained fire doors in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. As there is no other way of ensuring that your fire doors remain fit for purpose without inspecting them then, this makes regular fire door inspections a legal requirement.

How often do I need to get fire doors checked?

It depends on your circumstances. Though BS 9999 and the BWF-CERTFIRE Best Practice Guide states that they should be inspected every 6 months as a minimum, fire doors that are on heavily trafficked routes or newly installed, will be subject to more wear and tear and will require inspecting more regularly, with a risk-assessed approach to each door inspection frequency being the current accepted standard for inspection.

What should be checked?

Though BS 9999 states that it should be ensured that

  • heat-activated seals and smoke seals are undamaged;
  • door leaves are not structurally damaged or excessively bowed or deformed;
  • gaps between the door leaf and the frame are not so small as to be likely to
  • bind, or so large as to prevent effective fire and smoke-sealing;
  • hanging devices, securing devices, self-closing devices and automatic release
  • mechanisms are operating correctly

More detailed checks of fire doors may be appropriate if issues are identified from these checks. Specialist fire door inspections examine the fire doors condition against over 50 criteria, provide photographic evidence capturing deficiencies and recommend remedial action. It is advised that the fire door inspectors that you engage have third party accreditation.

ProAktive are here to support you with your fire safety requirements. Contact a ProAktive Risk Consultant for assistance.

By Ian French CMIOSH GIFireERisk Consultant

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