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Fire doors: carrying out regular safety checks

​As with any similar life-saving product, a fire door should be regularly checked to ensure it functions properly and is ready to use.

Most of the time, a fire door is used like any other door and is subject to the day-to-day wear and tear of opening and closing when people pass through. The building and the surrounding environment can also change and affect the door. It is important to check if regular use or changes to the surroundings affect it in any way.

Any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can affect the performance of the door. This can result in a half hour fire door lasting a lot less.

Fire door identification

All fire doors should have a controlled self-closing device fitted to them, either in the form of an overhead arm actuated type, a floor spring contained under the floor on the hinged edge of the door, or a ‘perko’ chain device installed on the hinge side of the door between the edge of the door leaf and the door frame.

In premises with multiple fire doors, it may be good practice to physically number every fire door for easy identification when carrying out maintenance checks and repairs.

Monthly inspection by the occupier

Tests should be carried out as follows:

  1. with a self-closing device, open the door fully and check it closes without binding on the floor. Open the door approximately 5 degrees (width of a clenched fist) and again check it closes fully, overcoming the latch or seal (if fitted). Check door closing speed to be approximately 10 seconds from 90 degrees and ensure that the door does not slam. Adjust speeds as necessary. Ensure that the doors are not being wedged open
  2. make sure that door hold-open devices (if fitted) are not straining the door against its self-closing device. A closer, fitted at the top of the door, should have a hold-open device at the top of the door. A floor spring at the foot of the door should have the hold-open device fitted at the bottom
  3. if fitted, ensure that any electromagnetic hold-open device is operating correctly and releases the door immediately after power is cut (when the fire alarm activates)
  4. if fitted, ensure any intumescent strips or combined intumescent / cold smoke seals are not damaged or missing. If in need of repair, they must be replaced with the same type as originally fitted. If smoke seals have to be replaced, they should be fitted in 1 continuous length if possible. If fixed piecemeal, they could potentially leak at the joints
  5. if fitted, inspect the glass. If it is cracked or broken it must be replaced immediately. If it is not replaced then, in the event of a fire, the smoke and gases will travel through the glass, which means the fire door will not last its fire rating. This work must only be undertaken by companies with appropriate third party certification
Routine inspections and tests of self-closing fire doors should be recorded.  Provision is made in our fire safety log book for this purpose.

Information on fire safety log books

Download extra self-closing fire door log sheets (size 38kb)  
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