More than three quarters (76%, in fact) of the fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) during 2019 were condemned as being not fit for purpose. In addition, 63% of those buildings inspected also had additional fire safety issues.
The data, which refers to more than 100,000 inspections conducted in over 2,700 buildings across the UK, also highlights the challenges with fire door installation. 30% of fire doors nationwide were condemned due to poor installation, with problems including excessive gaps around doors and the use of non-compatible foam.
Louise Halton, scheme manager for the FDIS, informed Fire Safety Matters: “The buildings that our inspectors visit include sleeping accommodation and also buildings that house the elderly, the disabled and people with mobility or cognitive needs. In other words, some of the most vulnerable in our society. The latest data shows that the majority of fire doors are not fit for purpose. This paints a very worrying picture of fire safety in many the UK’s buildings, and one that we must all play a role in changing for the better to help protect lives.”
The data also suggests that 57% of installed fire doors inspected needed small-scale maintenance, with the Top Three reasons for failures including excessive gaps, smoke sealing issues and poorly adjusted door closers, which would prevent the door performing as designed to hold back the spread of a fire.
Of the buildings inspected, nearly a quarter (24%) of fire doors that were third party certificated were correctly installed and maintained, while 40% of third party certificated fire doors were condemned due to poor maintenance and 36% due to both poor installation and poor maintenance.
Halton added: “The biggest concern for our inspectors is the lack of knowledge that people have about fire doors. For example, third party certificated fire doors provide crucial specification information and proof of performance for building owners, but if they’re incorrectly installed or not maintained, they will not perform as designed and prevent the spread of fire.”
In conclusion, Halton stated: “The correct specification, installation and ongoing maintenance of a fire door can really mean the difference between life or death for occupants, so it’s vital that building owners take responsibility and ensure that their fire doors are regularly inspected and maintained in order to save lives.”
For more information visit the FDIS website at https://www.fdis.co.uk/