West Sussex firefighters are backing a national Fire Kills campaign to promote Fire Door Safety Week (September 15th to 21st).
Business Fire Safety Officers across the county will be raising awareness of the importance of fitting fire safety doors in every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.
Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death. However, they remain a significant area of neglect, often the first thing to be downgraded on specification and mismanaged throughout their service life, propped open, damaged and badly maintained.
Mark Hayter, head of Business Fire Safety for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We want to help those responsible for commercial premises to keep themselves, their staff and their customers safe. Fire doors are an essential part of that. This week is all about encouraging business owners and users in West Sussex to check the operation and condition of their fire doors. We’d also like to remind people about the importance of very basic safety measures like not propping fire doors open and making sure that escape routes and exits are kept clear.
“For people in their own homes, shutting internal doors is one of the most effective fire precautions they can take. A closed door stops flames spreading to other rooms, limits the damage to the property and, in combination with a working smoke detector, gives occupiers the valuable time they need to escape.”
Fire doors – the do’s and don’ts:
. Specify and use third-party certified fire doors and components
. Buy fire doors, frames and components from certified companies
. Check the certificate matches the door
. Make sure you have the correct certification for the door’s intended use
. Install and maintain fire doors using competent personnel
. Make sure that ironmongery components are CE marked
. Fit a fire door like any other door – it’s not, it’s an engineered safety device
. Cut vision panels and other holes on site
. Patch up a fire door
. Take risks by reducing the specification
. Disconnect a fire door closer
. Prop or wedge open a fire door