The British Woodworking Federation Group
Your Responsibility

Your Responsibility

Everyone involved in the life of a fire door, from its specification to maintaining it in use, is responsible for protecting property and saving lives. But all too often we rely on the next person to do his job and get it right. So who is responsible?

The ‘Circle of Responsibility’

The ‘Circle of Responsibility’ or the the critical chain of responsibility, ensures that everyone recognises what their role is. If you are in the circle or part of the chain – you have responsibilities for fire doors.

The Architect or Specifier

You have the power to prevent decisions which might be based on cost, rather than safety, being taken further down the line.

  • Insist on third-party accredited fire doors
  • Consider specifying doorsets
  • Insist on third-party certificated doors and compatible components.
Developer /Contractor

You have the choice either to use the cheapest option available or take the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the occupants and insist on certification by using third party accredited products.

Building contractors always feel the pressure to bring a job in, on, or under, budget. Choosing cheaper untested products may save your customer money, but if a fire breaks out it will cost far more in lives and property.

  • Only use third-party accredited products.
  • Consider using doorsets
  • Insist on third-party party certificated doors and compatible components.
  • Never cut apertures on site
The Merchant
  • Only stock and sell third-party accredited and certified doors, frames and other components
  • Ensure your staff are aware of their responsibilities when advising customers
The Door Installer or Fitter
  • Make sure you buy the correct compatible components recommended by the door supplier
  • Check the label and fitting instructions that came with the door
  • Ensure your installation team understand their responsibility and are trained to install fire doors
  • Consider being third-party certificated to install fire doors
Building Control / Approved Inspectors / Fire departments

You bear the final responsibility for checking and assessing fire doors as part of the signing-off procedure for the building. The only way the fire door will work correctly and comply with its certificate is if it replicates the original test.

  • Check the frame is the right one for the door
  • Check the door closer is compatible with the door and closes on the latch in a controlled way
  • Check the traceability label or identification plug the on the fire door or doorset
  • Use the BWF Gap Tester to ensure the door has the correct gaps all around the door
Owners / Facilities Managers /Other ‘responsible persons’

In line with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005 you must ensure fire doors work correctly and are properly maintained.

  • Make sure you check fire doors regularly
  • Check hinges, closers, lock and latches etc.
  • Make sure staff are aware of the dangers of abusing fire doors.
  • Never leave fire doors propped open
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005

Everyone must play their part in ensuring the continued safety of a building’s inhabitants, don’t be the one to break the critical chain of responsibility. For more information on The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005 download the Fact Card.