Fire doors are a passive fire safety device that operates as a barrier to compartmentalise fire when they are closed. Ignorance and belief in falsehoods about fire safety can result in large penalties, prosecution, or, worse, the loss of lives.
In commemoration of Fire Door Safety Week, we’ve tried to debunk five of the most common fire door myths and highlight how your organisation can avoid the hazards of non-compliant fire doors.
Myth 1: Fire-resistant paint turns a door into a fire door
Fact: This is a classic and is regrettably still commonly accepted. No amount of paint will ever be able to make a door fire resistant. Painting a door does not comply with the appropriate fire door laws and regulations. Paint, for example, will not prevent non-compliant hinges from malfunctioning or cover gaps surrounding the door.
Myth 2: A fire door can be installed by anyone
Fact: To guarantee that fire doors function well during a hazard, they must be perfectly installed. This necessitates the right skills and experience. Only by employing the services of a skilled specialist can you be certain that you will not suffer any legal ramifications and that your construction will comply with the law.
Myth 3: It doesn’t matter how big the gap between the fire door and the frame is
Fact: According to a survey conducted by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, 30% of fire doors failed an inspection conducted due to poor installation issues, including excessive gaps around the door. In the event of a fire, the size of the gap around the whole perimeter of the door is crucial for avoiding the passage of hazardous gases and smoke. This space is typically 3mm on a fire door with smoke seals, but it’s essential to always check the fitting instructions or the fire door certificate.
Myth 4: Documentation isn’t important
Fact: A recent independently accredited test certificate must be attached to every fire door, as well as a certification label. These certifications provide information such as the manufacturer’s name, the year of manufacture, and the fire rating. These certifications evaluate whether your fire doors meet the fire safety performance level.
Myth 5: By installing larger doorstops, it is possible to convert standard doors into fire doors.
Fact: This is one of the most widely held fire door fallacies. Standard doors cannot be converted to fire doors by using doorstops. Fire doors must pass a fire test and meet industry standards, and installing door stops is not the answer. A compliant fire door must have a test certificate and be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
To guarantee a safe atmosphere, every building must adhere to hazard-protection requirements, and fire doors are an important part of those efforts. If you’d like to know more about fire safety advice that is compliant with British law and standards, visit https://flrs.co.uk/free-fire-survey/.