2018 Fire Door Safety Week Campaign
Fire Door Safety Week 2018 took place between 24th to 30th September with the focus of shutting the door on fire and smoke.
The 2018 campaign – Fire Door Five: Shutting the door on fire and smoke – drew attention to the importance of properly-fitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can do in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke. As part of the campaign, a poll of 1,000 UK adults in rented accommodation was conducted to highlight attitudes towards fire safety – and results demonstrated that there is still much more to do to ensure that standards within the industry are raised.
The responses to the poll showed that only a quarter of tenants have been reassured or had discussions with their landlord about fire safety in their building. With so little done to address the concerns of tenants, landlords still have a long way to go meet their fire safety responsibilities. In addition, almost three quarters of flat tenants would ignore the guidance to ‘stay put’ if there was a fire in their building and their particular flat was not affected, indicating a lack of confidence in their building’s ability to stop the spread of fire or smoke.
A series of five powerful films formed part of the week, one of which was a tribute to the victims, survivors and bereaved of Grenfell.
Film 1: “We’ve been here before”
The Grenfell Tower tragedy claimed the lives of 72 people and created untold trauma in the lives of many thousands more. Such an atrocity can never be allowed to happen again. The Grenfell fire must finally be the catalyst for government, building owners, landlords and those involved in the fire and construction industries to come together and make buildings safe now.
And what of the legacy of the Grenfell fire? It can only be that those same stakeholders ensure that they are implementing robust frameworks to new and existing buildings now, to ensure that they remain safe for generations to come. The Fire Door Safety Week message remains the same: fire doors save lives and property. Here is Hannah in an unflinchingly honest call for lasting change.
Film 2: “Smoke gets in your eyes”
The film demonstrates the deadly speed with which smoke can spread, laden with toxins. As smoke travels much faster than fire, it will usually kill long before the actual fire does: in just a few seconds, it can fill a room. Disorientation, dizziness, unconsciousness – and then death – soon follow.
However, a proper fire door that is fitted with all its fire and smoke seals and is closed tightly against its frame will, in most cases, delay the spread of fire and smoke long enough for the fire to be brought under control. It’s another powerful demonstration of the crucial importance of fire doors that save lives if properly fitted and maintained properly.
Film 3: The 5 Step check
We walk past dozens of fire doors every day without even noticing them. We don’t give them a second thought – at least, not until we need them. But fire doors are a critical element in preventing the spread of fire and smoke, and it should be everybody’s responsibility in a shared building to make sure that they are fit for purpose.
The 5 Step check is something that anyone can do:
- Look for labels or markings that show the door is third party certificated and has traceability back to the original manufacturer
- Look that the door is marked correctly with the appropriate signage and that it closes tightly against the frame
- Ensure that the door or frame has the fire and smoke seal, and that the door closes correctly with an even gap all around of about 3mm
- Check the fire-rated hinges are fitted firmly in the door and that there are no missing screws
- Make sure the door is not damaged or ever wedged or propped open
The check won’t replace a full inspection by a competent individual – but will highlight if there are any problems that need fixing.
Film 4: In memory of the victims and in solidarity with the survivors of Grenfell
The unspeakable tragedy of Grenfell Tower is remembered and mourned in a moving film from The British Woodworking Federation, released during Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW).
The appalling fire in June 2017 that claimed 72 lives shocked London, the country and the world.
Film 5: How can you guarantee that a fire door is fit for purpose? The importance of third-party certification