75% of fire doors inspected in the UK by approved inspectors did not meet the standards required and 31% were considered not fit for purpose. This has been shown in results from data from the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) and is based on more than 100,000 fire door inspections carried out by approved inspectors in 2021.
Healthcare buildings, local authorities and housing associations were shown to be the biggest failures. These buildings fire doors are subject to a higher use due to the volume of people using them. Regular inspection and maintenance is imperative to ensuring they remain fit for purpose.
The main faults found were excessive gaps between the door and frame (77%), care and maintenance issues (54%) and concerns over smoke sealing (37%). Also it was found that approximately a third of cases (31%) failed because of improper installation which meant that the doors were never safe to hold back fire and smoke.
Louse Halton, FDIS scheme manager said: “With a large number of fire doors failing inspection it is felt this is a tragedy waiting to happen particularly in properties that are home to vulnerable residents. However, this situation is preventable and at this stage still reversible. A door which is fit for purpose can save lives so it is most urgent that those responsible for fire safety immediately inspect their fire doors and act urgently if faults are found”.
“It is pivotol that reputable trained fire door inspectors, such as those trained by FDIS carry out inspections. The ongoing reporting of maintenance issues particularly with fire doors is a responsibility for us all to ensure faults are quickly dealt with to ensure building safety is preserved”.
The data from inspections revealed that the three main concerns were lack of fire door maintenance, poor knowledge of fire safety responsibilities together with little understanding of the importance fire doors play in keeping people safe by the people responsible for building safety.
The need for people in the building safety sector to have access to quality training, assessment and examination to ensure all knowledge is up to date and the importance of the fire door which is of course only fit for purpose when inspected and maintained regularly was emphasised in the FDIS inspection data as a key concern.