From: Howard Trotter, business manager, Shelforce

News from the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) that three quarters of the fire doors inspected in the UK by its approved inspectors did not meet the required standard should be a warning for the building safety sector.

The last few years have brought a much-needed wake-up call on fire safety, not just for the fenestration industry, but for the construction industry and society more generally, but the FDIS’s data, based on more than 100,000 fire door inspections carried out by its approved inspectors in 2021, many on buildings with vulnerable residents such as healthcare, local authorities and housing associations, shows that more must be done.

FDIS revealed that the most common reasons for failure was due to improper installation, including excessive gaps between the door and the frame, care and maintenance issues, and issues over smoke sealing.

A greater understanding of fire doors and their components, including testing and certification, regulations and standards, inspection, and maintenance is needed.

It’s crucial that trained fire door installers are used, and reputable and trained fire door inspectors conduct fire door inspections.

Raising awareness and encouraging building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors, and make sure they are regularly inspected and maintained, is vital.

At Shelforce, for example, we manufacture and supply our fully compliant 30-minute fire and smoke resistant Fireshel system and are planning to offer a comprehensive fire door package with it for local authorities, ranging from fabrication through to installation, maintenance, and repair.

Fire doors are not ordinary doors; they are a carefully engineered fire safety device and are critical to the fire safety of a building and preventing a loss of life and more understanding is needed to make sure a fire door performs as intended.

Product manufacture, quality, installation, and maintenance are all life critical. After all, everyone plays their part in ensuring a fire door performs as it should and saves lives.

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