Fire Door Safety Week to educate and build awareness

The 2018 Fire Door Safety Week campaign is set to run from 24 to 30th September and will accelerate education and build awareness about the critical role that fire doors play in delaying the spread of smoke and fire and keeping occupants and firefighters safe. The campaign, now in its sixth year, is led by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), BWF-Certifire scheme, the newly-formed BWF Fire Door Alliance and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), and reached over 19 million people in 2017.

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his year’s campaign – ‘Fire Door Five: Shutting the door on fire and smoke’ – aims to draw attention to the importance of properly-fitted and maintained fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can do in delaying the spread of both fire and cold smoke.

Third-party-accredited, properly installed and maintained fire doors can help to manage risk. This means the product is regularly tested by an independent organisation to prove its performance and the manufacturer is audited to ensure the product specification is maintained. This also provides traceability back to the original manufacturer and scope of accreditation, which includes the specification of compatible components and installation details – this is useful during in-service checks or maintaining the doors with suitable components throughout their lifetime.

Fire doors only prevent the spread of fire and smoke if they are closed and fitted with their correct and compatible components including intumescent seals, smoke seals and ironmongery such as a lock, latch and door closer. Ensuring that the fire door strategy in a building works is vitally important where there is a stay-put fire plan, high numbers of occupants and a complex building design that does not facilitate a quick or safe evacuation, occupants with additional needs or limited access and evacuation routes.

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week, Head of Technical Research and Insight at the British Woodworking Federation, Chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a Trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “Fire Door Safety Week 2017 attracted the highest number of supporters ever, and although progress has been made, 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, we are arming our supporters with useful resources so that they can participate in managing their own fire safety by understanding the role of fire doors, and by selecting suitable products that are both correctly installed and maintained throughout their lifetime. The stakes are too high. We need this right now to ingrain the discipline of fire door safety and thoroughly tested and certificated products, to make buildings safer for generations to come.”

Activities currently being organised for Fire Door Safety Week include:

  • CPD training sessions for building owners and fire professionals
  • A series of fire door awareness seminars and webinars, hosted by the BWF and other industry contributors
  • Local fire and rescue service roadshows for local businesses
  • Fire door sales promotions and special offers
  • Videos, broadcast and press coverage, tweets (#FireDoorSafetyWeek #FireDoorFive).

To get involved in Fire Door Safety Week and access a free toolkit of fire safety advice resources to help run your own FDSW activities, visit the website.

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