Fire Safety is one of our passions at Digitalquill, and we have a special announcement to make on #TestitTuesday next week. One of our most popular products is Fire Door Monitor – an app and optional hardware solution to help businesses check their fire doors and even alert them if they are left propped open. Here’s (almost) everything you need to know about fire doors.

Fire Door Monitor – Helping Businesses Stay Safe from Fire

fire door inspection

About three million fire doors are bought and installed in the United Kingdom every single year. The vast majority of these are made from timber. Fire doors are designed to be one of the first lines of defence against smoke and fire. Fitting correctly specified and maintained fire doors can be the difference between life and death for a building’s occupant in the event of a fire. Fire doors are frequently neglected or downgraded, and they tend to be propped open and badly maintained which reduces their effectiveness.

Did You Know…?

  • Around 2.5 million certified fire doors are bought and installed in the UK every single year
  • 75% of tradespeople have noticed a fire door that is blocked or obstructed when working with businesses
  • 58% have spotted accessibility problems with fire doors in commercial and public buildings
  • 63% say that the most common fault they see is fire doors that do not close properly

The Regulatory Reform Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) also known as the Fire Safety Order (FSO) is the piece of legislation that businesses need to comply with. It was signed into law on 7 June 2005, and its provisions came into force on 1 October 2006. The responsibility for fire risk assessment in all non-domestic buildings falls to the ‘Responsible Person’ or ‘Responsible Persons’.

The RRO applies to you if you are:

  • Responsible for business premises
  • An employer or self-employed with business premises
  • Responsible for a part of a dwelling – if that part is solely used for business purposes
  • A charity or voluntary organisation
  • A contractor with a degree of control over any premises
  • Providing accommodation for paying guests

What Must the Responsible Person Do?

The Responsible Person must:

  • Ensure that a fire safety risk assessment is carried out and reviewed on a regular basis
  • Identify & record the fire hazards
  • Identify & record the people at risk
  • Evaluate, remove or mitigate fire safety risks
  • Prepare an emergency plan & provide training
  • Review & update the fire risk assessment regularly
  • Part of this risk assessment and fire management plan must consider the safe installation, maintenance & inspection of fire doors.

How To Check A Fire Door

There are five key areas to check on each fire door. You should record that the correct checks have been regularly done. These are only guides, the full 31-point checklist is documented in the RRO and is incorporated into Fire Door Monitor from Digitalquill: a fire door inspection system that records your inspections safely in the cloud – no more paper checklists and no worries about missing your inspection.

1 – Certification

Look for a label or plug on top (or occasionally on the side) of the door. Without a certification mark, you cannot be sure it really is a fire door. Use a mirror or the camera function on your camera phone.

2 – Gaps

Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when the door’s closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm), but it does depend on the door. Ideally, you should not see light under the door. If gaps are too big then smoke and fire could travel through the cracks. Use a £1 coin to give a feel for scale, they are about 3mm thick.

3 – Seals

Look for any intumescent seals around the door or frame. Check they’re intact with no sign of damage. The seals will expand if they’re in contact with heat, and it will stop the fire (and in some cases smoke) moving through the cracks.

4 – Hinges

Check all hinges are firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws. Be sure the door has been properly maintained, and in the intensity of a fire will perform properly. Simply open the door to view the hinges.

5 – Closure

Check the door closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame. A fire door only works when it’s closed. A fire door is completely useless if it’s wedged open or can’t close fully. To test: open the door about halfway, let go and see what happens when you allow it to close by itself.

Fire Door Monitor – The Fire Door Inspection System

Digitalquill’s Fire Door Monitor is a complete fire door inspection system. Using RFID systems, your responsible person can be alerted by our fire door inspection software whenever a fire door is propped open for too long, so you can keep fire door discipline even if you cannot be at every site 24/7. Using our fire door inspection app, you can record 31-point checks on fire doors, and add or amend checks to suit your business. Call us on 01482 424402, email or visit our website for more information.