Building codes now state that new buildings must have fire doors as part of the building’s defence against a fire. Older buildings have to undergo a fire door survey and owners must place the doors where they are required in order to meet legal regulations and to keep the people as safe as possible. They are also a part of compartmentalization where the building divides into compartments that are kept sealed and fire safe, to prevent the spread of a fire or to slow it down.
Fire doors are vital
Fire doors are kept closed around the fire to create a barrier so that the smoke and fire are less able to spread. This gives people in the building a chance to use other fire doors as a way to escape. Slowing the spread gives more people a chance to get out without smoke inhalation or burning. The slowing down also means the fire brigade has more time to get to the site and take action against the fire. It could mean more of the building has protection. More building owners need to realise the importance of fire compartments and fire doors and how they can save lives and protect their property.
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Meeting with legal regulations
Fire doors then have a dual purpose, as an exit and to slow a fire down. They need to be made to specifications and installed correctly too. A fire door survey or fire compartmentation survey can help make sure building regulations are met and that doors meet those specifications. An example would be a warehouse where there are several rooms or spaces, including some that might include items that are highly flammable. A fire door would then need to be placed between those rooms to ensure if a fire happened in that area it could be slowed down and the other rooms elsewhere in the warehouse remain safe giving time for an evacuation.
As a building owner, you have a responsibility to the people in your building
When people live in or use a building they have an expectation that the owners of the property have taken the necessary action to protect them to the best of their ability. This is not just about legal requirements, it is about doing what is right. While you hope that a fire will not happen, they do. As well as doing the obvious like having smoke alarms, extinguishers and fire alarms, having passive fire protection like fire doors is a big part of that. A fire door survey can tell you how effective your doors are and where you need them.
Whatever type of building it is, a commercial one like an office or warehouse, a hospital, a hotel, or maybe a large block of flats, a fire compartmentation survey and fire door survey are an important part of your responsibility to keep it and the people using it, safe.