Following the Grenfell Tower fire the government found, during testing, that a number of fire doors fell short of the expected standard.
New guidance has therefore been issued to all landlords, to evaluate the performance of fire doors in their properties. In line with this guidance, we are undertaking a full review and inspecting fire doors in all our flats and retirement living communities.
Fire doors are found at the entrance to individual homes in communal blocks. The doors are there for your protection and it is part of our commitment to your safety that we undertake to inspect EVERY fire door in ALL of these buildings TWICE a year.
We will write to you when our inspectors are in your area. Please look out for that letter and ensure that you are available to give us access to your home so that we can inspect your fire door.
This is a safety first check that could save your life!
Why are we inspecting your fire door?
Fire doors are part of a building’s passive fire protection system and are fundamental to fire strategies for buildings.
They provide critical protection within a building, protecting escape routes (stairs and corridors) and separating different fire hazards in a building.
Effective fire doors ensure rooms are compartmented to help keep fire and possibly smoke, in the area in which it starts, to protect occupants (and contents) of other compartments safe and to protect escape routes.
What is a fire door and what is a final escape route?
A fire door is a collection of components that includes the door leaf, frame, seals and essential door hardware – called a fire door assembly – and use of the wrong components may have a significant impact on the overall performance of a fire door.
How do I know if my fire doors are fit for purpose?
Just like other fire safety devices, such as fire extinguishers and alarms, fire doors need periodic inspection and maintenance to ensure that they will perform as intended in a fire situation. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order places this obligation with your landlord/building owner.
What is covered during our fire door inspection?
During a fire door inspection our surveyors will inspect each component of the fire door assembly including:
- Door leaf
- Door frame
- Door closer (self-closing devices)
- Intumescent door strip and cold smoke seals
- Glazing (if any)
- Locks and levers/handles
- Gaps around the doors and threshold gaps
If any of the above items are damaged, missing or removed, such as the door closer or the cold smoke seals and strips, we will arrange for these to be repaired or refitted as soon as possible in order to ensure that your door(s) conform to the expected standard. However, if you are responsible for your door(s) we will advise you of our findings and what is required by you.
Can I check a fire door?
Below is a five-step fire door check that anyone can do. However, should you have any concerns or think your building has a faulty fire door, please report it to us immediately on 0800 048 8955.
- Check for certification – is there a label or coloured plug/dot on top or side of the door to show it is a certificated fire door?
- Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when closed. You can use a £1 coin to give a feel for scale, which is about 3mm thick. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm is not uncommon), but it does depend on the door – as a rule of thumb, if you can see light under the door, the gap is likely to be too big.
- Check the seals – are there any seals around the door or frame, and are they intact with no sign of damage? These seals are usually vital to the fire door’s performance, expanding if in contact with heat to ensure fire (and in some cases smoke) can’t move through the cracks.
- Check the hinges – are they firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws?
- Check the door closes properly – open the door about halfway, let go and allow it to close by itself. Does it close firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame? Never prop a fire door open – it is completely useless if it’s wedged open.