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Recently various trade press titles, including Inside Housing and IFSEC, have reported on the feasibility of legislating fire door inspections as part of the Government’s wide-ranging fire safety reforms. Currently there is no specific legal requirement to check fire doors at certain intervals, but various legislation requires them to be maintained.
At the BWF Fire Door Alliance we advocate the routine inspections of fire doors to ensure that they are fit for purpose, along with regular maintenance. We would welcome clear guidelines enshrined in law, but we would issue caution on the quarterly fire door inspections that have been reported on.
Quarterly checks might be suitable for domestic fire doors, but we do not believe that they are adequate for high-risk, high-usage doors. For instance, doors in corridors in busy areas may be or less constantly in use, meaning that the risk of damage is high. In addition, consideration need to be given the occupants of a buildings, where the contribution of fire doors to a building’s overall fire safety is paramount – a good example of this is a care home or hospital where occupants may not be able to exit the building without assistance and therefore the compartmentalisation of fire allows a planned assisted evacuation to take place.