Fire Door Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know

All lives are precious. It is because of this that we must never let our guards down. In a 2018 article, CBS reported that accidental injury is the third leading cause of death. Taking the extra mile to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones would prevent so much heartache.

A 2017 incident in London brought our attention to building safety. The fire doors were not able to hold the fire for at least the legal requirement of 30 minutes.  It got a buzz in the building code forum but at the cost of so many lives. Their deaths would not be in vain if we learned something from the tragedy.

You must train yourself to regularly check your fire rated door, make it part of your survival instincts. The installation of one is not enough. You must also ensure that it is in working order. Let us discuss a few facts about the fire door.

Responsibility

There should be someone responsible for the care and maintenance of the fire door. If it is a commercial building, this would usually fall on the shoulders of the owner or landlord. But if you occupy a shared property such as an apartment complex, more than one person may carry out this duty.

Those who are responsible for this job must undergo a fire door inspection course. At the very least, the people in charge must recognize the difference between a regular door and a fire door. Here are some distinct features:

  • Fire doors are much heavier than regular ones.
  • They come with a door closer, so they automatically shut.
  • They also come with a seal around their edges. When heated, this seal swells. Thus, it prevents the fire from spreading.
  • If you are using a glazed door, the glazing system should be fire-resistant.
  • Lastly, all ironworks must also be fire-resistant.

If the people assigned cannot carry out this charge, they can hire a fire safety expert to do a fire risk assessment.

Frequency

Most people in the building code forum suggest that those responsible for the fire door’s care and maintenance inspect it at least every six months. However, if the building has heavy traffic, it is wise to have it checked every three months.

Checklist

Those who are responsible for the inspection must verify that it is a certified fire door. You should find a label that says so. Considering that the fire door comes with a door closer, the inspector must check if it will close seamlessly. It should not stick on the floor or jam on the latch.

Another thing to check is the gap between the door leaf and the door frame. 

Conclusion

The government reported a 10 percent increase in preventable deaths in 2018 from the previous year. That is 10 percent more unnecessary heartaches, so why not just go the extra mile to ensure your safety?

At All Things Inspector, we do not only provide a fire door inspection course and practice tests for building inspectors. We also offer a large inventory of door inspection tool kits, including door pressure gauge. Browse through our store now! 

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Merle Parkins

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