an engineer conducts a safety inspection on a fire door

Fire Door Inspections

You'd hope to never need your fire doors. However, they must always be kept in working order in case of emergency. Failure to do so can mean the difference between life and death.

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All potentially life-saving equipment must be kept in good working order. Just like you’d check your smoke alarm batteries, or check your car’s tyre pressure, fire doors must be regularly inspected to ensure that they’re ready to go should the worst happen and you need to evacuate a building.

What does a Fire Door Inspection Involve?

Fire doors should be checked for signs of wear and tear that may hinder their performance in the event of a fire. Not all defects will be immediately obvious. In fact, a small alterations to the door or its surroundings, such as warping material or building settlement, can have an impact on the door’s functionality.

We previously discussed the inspections required on automatic doors by the building’s Responsible Person. Fire doors bring a similar duty on the Responsible Person, which could be the business owner, building manager or caretaker. If you are using a shared space, there may even be multiple Responsible Persons.

Fire door inspections should form part of the overall risk assessment of your fire safety procedures and maintaining them is a critical part of your fire safety management.

What does the law say about fire door inspections?

Article 17 of the Fire Safety Order (2005) makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are adequately maintained in order for them to provide the protection required during a fire.

When auditing the building fire doors are one of the areas that can be identified by the fire service if they are not fit for purpose. This can lead to further action such as enforcement notices and even prosecution.

The importance of passive fire protection maintenance such as compliant fire door sets has never been so important. This has been highlighted by the tragic disasters at Lakanal House and more recently Grenfell Tower,​ where is has emerged that fire doors were faulty and did not offer the protection required.

How often should fire doors be inspected?

BS 9999 recommends that fire doors should be inspected every 6 months. Whilst British Standards are not legal requirements, it is worth bearing in mind that they provide the best and most up-to-date guidance. Should fire doors fall foul of BS guidance, it is possible that the Responsible Person could be held in breach of their duty.

BS 9999 also specifies that doors may require more regular inspection depending on their location and usage. A door with high traffic may be more prone to wear and tear and therefore requires more frequent inspection.

Who should carry out fire door inspections?

Legally, the Responsible Person has the duty to ensure that fire doors are maintained and perform adequately in an emergency. If you are a Responsible Person, and are concerned that you lack the skills necessary to ensure your fire door’s safe operation, you can appoint a suitably qualified engineer to certify fire doors on your behalf.

What can DT Services Offer?

DT Services have fully trained fire door inspectors available.

We can survey all your fire doors to ensure you are complying with BS:8214 and provide you with reports via email to help you keep your premises safe. Like this recent job, where we carried out a fire door inspection in Hull for a Multi Academy Trust, who have a large number of building users to look after.

Our fire door surveys include a wide range of inspections, including:​

  • Ensure it is the correct rated door for its location through the fire door certification
  • Ensure any damage present does not effect its performance in the event of a fire
  • Ensure the door has the correct hardware fitted, including self-closers & hinges
  • Ensure the correct types if intumescent strips are fitted where necessary
  • Ensure any gaps are not over the permitted widths
  • Ensure that any glazing, where fitted, is fitted correctly and the correct rating.

You can contact us to book a fire door inspection, where our engineers will perform a full fire door inspection to ensure that your building, your workers and your customers remain safe while they are on your premises.