Fire safety has become an integral part of everyday life in the UK over the past few decades, and rightly so. The higher the regulatory standards set relating to fire safety and other health and safety issues, the better the standard of buildings for instance, and the lower the numbers of incidents that lead to fatalities and severe injuries in domestic and commercial properties. Fire doors have become a standard installation practice in many commercial, public, and domestic properties throughout the UK, but let’s take a look at some aspects of fire doors that you might not immediately be aware of.
By installing a fire door you are ensuring that there is a chance for all people inside the building to escape as quickly and safely as possible, through the designated, unobstructed, escape routes. A fire door is able to withstand intense heat, against temperatures that a raging fire set, for up to 230 minutes. What this does is buy some time for those inside. Aluminium and steel both have extremely high melting points, and are both used in the construction of fire doors to add that solid element that is difficult for fire to break through.
Whenever you see a ‘Keep Shut’ sign on a fire door you might just think this is just the authorities’ nagging you, and how often have you seen fire doors propped open with things (quite often fire extinguishers which complicated matters further). It is however, illegal to prop open a fire door at any time. If a fire spreads and causes damage to a building, injury or loss of life to those inside, a criminal prosecution can take place against those responsible for the fire safety in the building.
It is important to remember exactly where we have come from, and how loose fire safety used to be. The very first fire safety regulations in the UK only came about after the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed so many buildings.
When it comes to fire safety and other health and safety regulations you should never take a chance. There is just too much to risk. If you own a property that is used for commercial purposes, a building that is open to the public, or you own a domestic HMO with multiple occupants, you are legally required to install fire doors within the structure. Always investigate exactly what your personal responsibilities are in terms of fire safety and put your tenants at the top of your list of priorities. On a human level it is important to install the correct fire doors, and to implement an effective fire escape strategy that is easy for all relevant people to understand, and that is before you consider the fines and legal ramifications should you fail to do so.
Look for fire door suppliers with a reputation you can trust to deliver to a high standard. The better the grade of fire door (although there are minimum standards set for you to deliver to), the better the chances are of fire spreading, or smoke gaining entry to other parts of a building causing severe consequences for those inside.