As Fire Door Safety Week 2020 draws to a close, Bureau Veritas is taking the opportunity to give another reminder about the importance of properly fitted and maintained fire doors to enhance safety in the event of a fire.
Fire Door Safety Week was first launched in 2013, in response to a legacy of fire door neglect, and is managed by the British Woodworking Federation, with support from partners including London Fire Brigade (LFB), The National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) and the Home Office’s National Fire Safety campaign.
This year’s initiative highlights some damning statistics about fire door maintenance and replacement works, obtained from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to all UK local authorities. Key results include:
- 60% of local authorities delayed fire door maintenance and inspection programmes in the first half of 2020
- 53% of local authorities cited COVID-19 as a reason as a reason for the delays
- More than 16,500 doors in nearly 10,000 individual properties have been affected
- 63% of planned fire door maintenance and replacement works did not progress as scheduled
- 65% of those experiencing delays plan to recommence works by the end of 2020
Lee Perry, Business Manager – Health, Safety & Fire Consultancy at Bureau Veritas, said:
“Properly fitted and maintained fire doors are critical to the safe evacuation of a building in the event of fire, forming part of the compartmentation of the building, and helping to retain the fire in its compartment of origin. Poorly fitted and damaged fire doors allow smoke and heat into the escape routes within the building, which makes it much more difficult to evacuate and puts lives needlessly at risk.
“Fire Door Safety Week provides a timely reminder of the importance of fire doors to those with responsibilities for managing fire safety within buildings, but this year it has identified widespread delays to planned preventative inspection and maintenance regimes which continue to put people at risk.
“To quote Fire Door Safety Week’s own message, COVID-19 is forcing more people than ever to stay at home and so we need an urgent focus on ensuring the safety of all building occupants.”
The specialist fire safety team at Bureau Veritas offers a range of services including fire door inspections, acting as the ‘Responsible Person’ to carry out a regular check of fire doors and monitor their condition for effective operation to mitigate the risk of smoke and fire spread in the event of a fire incident.
For more information, go to www.bureauveritas.co.uk/construction-consultancy/fire-safety-engineering