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As with any similar life-saving product, a fire door should be regularly checked to ensure it functions properly and is ready to use. It is exactly the same as testing the battery of a smoke alarm or having the pressure of a fire extinguisher checked regularly.
Just like any other passive fire protection system, it is essential for a fire door to perform as intended in the event of a fire. Any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can affect the performance. As such, a fire door should be regularly checked to ensure it functions correctly and will perform to its designed standard in the event of a fire.
Periodic checks should be carried out at least once every six months although newly occupied buildings may require more frequent checks in the first year of use. Plus, where the fire door is in high use, it should be checked more frequently than other doors in the building, e.g. once per week/month.
For buildings over 11 metres in height the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 call for the responsible person to use best endeavours to undertake checks of fire doors at the entrances of individual domestic premises in the building at least every twelve months. They must also undertake checks of any fire doors in communal areas of the building at least every three months. These checks must include ensuring that the self–closing devices for the doors are working.
Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained in order for them to be fit for purpose.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, often referred to as the FSO, applies to all buildings other than domestic housing, and replaces 118 pieces of previous fire legislation, including the old fire certificate. The law now shifts responsibility from the fire authorities for fire safety to whoever has day-to-day control of premises.
The authorities have the power to enforce the FSO and do prosecute or even close buildings down where breaches are discovered.
For more information on the FSO and your legal responsibility, download our Fact Card.
Everyday use of fire doors can result in slight alterations to the door and its surroundings, and this can affect the performance of the door in the event of a fire.
Regular inspections by a competent person, as previously discussed, will ensure the identification of any defects to the fire door that need to be addressed through maintenance.
For more information on fire door inspection & maintenance, download our Fact Card.