Even though you have your fire protection systems checked every year to renew your annual fire safety statement, you should keep an eye on key areas on a regular basis. Informal checks also help ensure that your building is safe.
For example, your fire doors play a vital role in protecting your staff and your building. You should take a look at these doors periodically through the year to make sure they're doing their job.
How can you check that these doors are still fit for purpose?
Check the Opening and Closing Mechanism
Fire doors should sit firmly in place; they take a hard push to open. They should also have an automated closing mechanism. Once opened, the doors should start to close themselves.
So, open and close each of your fire doors. If they open too easily or don't close automatically or fully, then you have a problem. If you have double doors, then the two doors should close at the same rate and latch together if you open both of them at the same time.
Look for Signs of Damage
Damaged fire doors can't always offer full protection. Any breaches in the door can affect its fire resistance.
So, check that your doors are intact. Holes, cracks and weak spots reduce a door's ability to hold back a fire and contain smoke. Cracks in window glass are also a problem. If the glass is damaged, it will break faster and give you less protection.
Check the Door's Fit
Fire doors need to fit snugly in their frames. Their seals turn them into a fully effective barrier against fire and smoke.
Check that your doors hang in place correctly. You shouldn't be able to see light coming through any gaps around closed doors. Look at their hinges and make sure that all their screws or fittings are in place and tightly connected.
Take a look at the seals around each door both when it is open and closed. Seals should fit tightly between the door and the frame. If a seal is broken, worn or bent out of place, then it won't work.
If you think that one or more of your fire doors might have a problem or if you want a professional assessment, then contact fire protection testing companies. They can check all your doors and help you make them safe if any do have a problem.