Campaign: Behind closed doors

There has been much debate recently about how landlords, councils and housing associations can ensure tenant fire safety.


Sept Campaign Page

It’s vital we build on this momentum to spread awareness of the critical role fire doors play in an holistic approach to fire safety.

Fire Door Safety Week, which will take place 24-30th September, was created six years ago to highlight the importance of fire doors, which are often the first line of defence to stop fire and smoke spreading around a building.

Since then, our key objectives remain the same: To raise awareness of the significant role fire doors play in protecting the occupants and firefighters responding to an emergency, to draw attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance and to empower our supporters with accurate knowledge so they can play a part in managing fire door safety.

Third party accredited, properly-fitted and maintained fire doors can help save lives in the event of a fire.

This means the product is regularly tested by an independent organisation to prove its performance and the manufacturer is audited to ensure product specification is maintained.

This also provides traceability back to the original manufacturer and fire test evidence, which includes the specification of compatible components in scope of the accreditation and installation details.

Fire doors only prevent the spread of fire and smoke if they are closed and fitted with their correct and compatible components.

This is vital where there are high numbers of occupants or a complex building design that does not facilitate a quick or safe evacuation for occupants with additional needs, or limited access routes.

Fire Door Safety Week 2017 attracted the highest number of supporters ever, but we still have a long way to go. We commonly inspect fire doors that have had their specification downgraded, are poorly installed or not maintained.

We need to continue raising the bar, and this year’s campaign is aiming to achieve a marked improvement in the sector.

To prevent lives being lost and limit consequential losses, as part of the campaign, we are asking the government to 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 for poor fire safety measures – the stakes are too high.

The campaign will also help landlords and building owners select and install a product that will improve the building’s fire safety.

We need this right now to ingrain the discipline of fire door safety and third party certification, to make buildings safer for generations to come.

Written by Hannah Mansell.