More than three quarters (76%) of the fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose.
The three top reasons for failure were excessive gaps, smoke sealing issues and poorly adjusted door closers.
FDIS, which examined more than 100,000 inspections in over 2,700 buildings across the UK, also highlighted the challenges with fire door installation. Some 30% of fire doors nationwide were condemned due to poor installation, with problems including excessive gaps around the door and the use of non-compatible foam. In addition, 63% of the buildings inspected also had additional fire safety issues.
A total of 57% of installed fire doors inspected needed small scale maintenance.
Louise Halton, scheme manager of FDIS, said: “The buildings that our inspectors visit include sleeping accommodation and those that house the elderly, the disabled, and people with mobility or cognitive needs – some of the most vulnerable in our society. However, the latest data shows that the vast majority of fire doors are not fit for purpose. This paints a very worrying picture of the fire safety of the UK’s buildings, and one that we must all play a role in changing for the better to help protect lives.”
She 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 are incorrectly installed or not maintained, they will not perform as designed and prevent the spread of fire.
“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 so as to save lives.”
The Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) was launched as a joint venture by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) in 2012. The research was based on a FDIS survey of its inspectors carried out in January and February 2020.
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