Fire doors are an important part of the fire safety system of your building. This is why fire doors must be kept closed. When closed, they slow down the spread of fire and smoke throughout the building.
As a fire starts, the heat and smoke will rise to the ceiling. The air around this will become hot and start to rise. This will then lead to the hot air travelling through the building in search of a way out. By keeping your fire doors closed you are stopping the spread of fire from one room to the next. This is why fire doors must be closed and cannot be propped open.
There are three main risks that come with a fire door that is propped open or isn’t closed. We look into these three risks below.
- Fire Rating Ruined
All fire doors will have specific fire rating. This fire rating will state how long the door can withstand a fire before collapsing. This will usually be 30 minutes or one hour. However, when the fire door is wedged open or not shut, the barrier is no longer there. This means that there is nothing preventing the fire from spreading throughout the building and putting many lives at risk.
- Blocked Escape Routes
Fire doors are in place to provide an escape route in case of a fire. However, if the door is wedged open this could block the route of people trying to escape. It could also be a trip hazard which could result in people becoming injured or those people further blocking the exit routes. When a fire is in the building, time is not on your side. Any items holding doors open can result in wasted time, which can result in potentially putting lives at risk.
- Smoke And Toxic Gasses
Often it is the smoke and toxic gasses that are the biggest killed of people in the case of fires. It isn’t actually the flames of the fire. This is why fire doors must be kept closed. This will help keep the smoke and toxic gasses contained. A fire door that is open will allow toxic gasses and smoke to move freely throughout the building, putting people’s lives at risk.
While it is not a legal requirement to close fire doors, there are a lot of dangerous consequences if you don’t. If a fire occurs and a person is injured or killed as a result of a fire door being wedged open, you could face an extremely large fine or maybe even be charged with manslaughter. In addition to this, an open fire door could result in an invalid insurance claim. It will also put the emergency services at additional risk to their lives.
Do the right thing and ensure your fire doors aren’t propped open. If you need your fire doors checked or maintained, call our fire safety team.