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In full swing - fire doors save lives and homes

Posted on 21 September 2020

We're supporting Fire Door Safety Week 2020 to raise awareness of how fire doors save lives.

“Fire doors play a vital role in any building. With people spending more time in their homes at the moment, fire door safety is more crucial than ever,” explained Jack Bernard, Safer Homes Delivery Manager.

“A fire door, unlike any other door, must delay the spread of fire and smoke; protecting lives and property. When a fire happens, it is the compartmentalisation of fire, by the correct specification and installation of well-maintained fire doors, that buys occupants time and creates a safe refuge. They also provide a protected route for the emergency services to come to their aid.”

What fire doors do

Fire doors create a barrier from fire and toxic smoke and prevent them from travelling through a building, restricting damage to a small area. They also enable people to evacuate a building and provide safe access for the emergency services.

How fire doors work

There are keys parts in a fire door, all working together to provide a fire barrier - so one small change can have a big impact on performance. A fire door only works if it's installed correctly.

Where fire doors are installed

In a block of flats, fire doors should be on the stairwells and in corridors and the front door of each flat should also be a fire door. They are also used to protect areas where there is a risk of combustion, for example bin storage areas or mains electricity service cupboards. Sometimes fire doors are installed within individual homes, but this depends on design and layout.

How to tell a door is a fire door

Fire doors in common areas of the building (corridors, stairwells and service rooms) will have a blue sign. Front doors, and fire doors inside individual homes, do not need to have a sign.

Inspection and maintenance

Like all landlords and building owners, we are legally responsible for fire doors in the common areas of buildings. We inspect our doors regularly. However, if you notice anything wrong with a door, please bring it to our attention via residentfiresafety@hyde-housing.co.uk

Fire doors as front doors

Front doors face onto ‘critical means of escape routes’. It is vital front doors work properly when a fire breaks out, so it is important that the front doors of flats are fire doors. Leaseholders may be responsible for ensuring their front door has a suitable fire rating and that compatible components are fitted, and need to check their lease agreement.

Keeping you and your neighbours safe

  • Don’t leave a fire door wedged or propped open
  • Keep access to fire doors clear and unobstructed 
  • Check your front door closes safely – hold it half way open, and check the latch engages when you let it go
  • If a fire door doesn’t close report it to us immediately
  • Never disconnect an automatic closer – the door is useless if it remains open, and it will allow the spread of smoke and fire
  • Don’t remove kitchen or other internal fire doors
  • If you’re fitting new carpets, make sure the door still closes smoothly – if it catches on the carpet, consider fitting rising hinges. Don’t trim the door!
  • Don’t make new openings in fire doors for cat flaps or letter boxes without seeking advice.

Reporting an issue

Contact us using our dedicated email address: residentfiresafety@hyde-housing.co.uk if you find an issue with the fire safety doors in your building. Alternatively, contact your local fire service for advice.

Fire Door Safety Week was launched in 2013 and this year runs from 21-27 September.