Responsibilities & Law
Fire Doors - Part of your building's essential Passive Protection measures
Fire Doors quite simply stop the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire and give occupants that critical extra time needed to reach an escape route. However that is of course providing they are all in good working order!
Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO/FSO) makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained in order for them to be fit for purpose. The authorities have the power to enforce the RRO/FSO and do prosecute or even close buildings down where breaches are discovered. Building owners need ‘responsible persons’ as referenced in the Fire Safety Order to help them comply with fire door regulations.
BS9999:2017 Annex I.6.2 states "All fire doors should be inspected every six months."
A fire door should be checked regularly to ensure it functions correctly and is ready to use. It should be considered in exactly the same way as testing a smoke alarm or a fire extinguisher.
Any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can affect the performance of a door. Regular inspections ensure you are kept compliant.
Fire Risk Assessment
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO/FSO) a Fire Risk Assessment is a legal requirement. Many think, even today, they don't have to do anything about it. The FRA is the audit document of the Fire Strategy. How many buildings either don't have a copy of their original Fire Strategy or the building layout has changed since the original Strategy was written?
If you are responsible for a building, for example a employer, owner or occupier of premises that aren't a 'single private dwelling' (a private home), you need to make sure a suitably competent person completes a Fire Risk Assessment. It is your duty to identify fire risks and hazards in your premises and take appropriate action.
In addition, if five or more people work at your premises or your business has a licence under enactment in force, you’ll need your fire risk assessment to be a written record. Make sure you review your risk assessment regularly and whenever significant changes have been made that would have an impact on it. It’s good business sense as well as a legal requirement, often businesses don’t recover after a fire, and effective fire prevention starts with properly understanding the risks.