Fire Door Safety Week – Shutting the door on fire and smoke
Fire door safety campaigners are, through Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), working to ensure public and private sector landlords and building owners stop risking the lives of tenants and ensure fire doors are correctly inspected, specified, fitted and maintained.
Fire doors are the first line of defence against devastating fires and when properly built, installed and maintained, they save lives and protect property. Despite this, fire doors across the UK are still badly fitted, non-compliant, left propped open or damaged and, as a result, could be putting millions of lives at stake.
Now in its sixth year, this year’s FDSW campaign – Fire Door Five: Shutting the door on fire and smoke – aims to draw attention to the importance of properly-fitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can do in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke.
Part of the activity will see campaigners explore the need to establish a Building Safety Fund to help pay for vital and life-saving fire safety improvements in Local Authority and Housing Association accommodation.
Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW, as well as British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Head of Technical Research and Insight, chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, says: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety. There is no doubt that fire doors, fully fitted with their correct and compatible components, that are properly installed and maintained play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means more lives could be lost as a result of substandard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost and that is why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities to carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high.
“Tenants and the general public will, as always, play a key part and get their voices heard by reporting doors that are propped open, damaged or in poor condition, rather than waiting for landlords or building owners to inspect fire doors. As part of Fire Door Safety Week, we have created a Five Step Fire Door Check to help people check their fire doors and empower them to report faulty doors.
“Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants but there is still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire. Because of this uncertainty, our focus for fire door safety week this year is “shutting the door on fire and smoke” and we want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.”