Since 2013, the national Fire Door Safety Week campaign has explored the issue of fire door neglect. Its purpose is to promote the critical importance of properly specified, installed and maintained fire doors and associated products.
By raising awareness amongst end users, specifiers, architects, contractors, procurement teams and those responsible for installation and on-going maintenance, the campaign seeks to stamp out the legacy of neglect.
Having previously focused upon student accommodation, multiple occupancy buildings and social housing, Fire Door Safety Week seeks to provide resources to empower and educate stakeholders. In 2016, the campaign concentrated on raising awareness amongst residents and building users to raise problems and ensure that those responsible for keeping them safe are made aware of issues directly.
A survey of 1,001 tenants living in flats was conducted in September 2016 by Atomik Research on behalf of Fire Door Safety Week*. The study revealed that more than half of all housing tenants (58%) and over 70% of lower income tenants have no idea who the Responsible Person is for the building where they live – the person to whom they should usually report their fire safety concerns, such as fire doors that do not close. Worryingly, 15% of all tenants living in blocks of flats who have got fire safety concerns have never reported those concerns to anyone at all.
The 2016 campaign took this research and provided educational resources for both the Responsible Person and occupants of buildings. One of the lead Fire Doors Safety Week spokespeople for 2016 was Julian Rosser. Julian’s daughter, Sophie Rosser, tragically died in a fire in a block of flats in London’s Canary Wharf in August 2012. An inquest heard that Miss Rosser’s death could have been avoided if a self-closing fire door had not become stuck on the floor preventing it from closing.
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 fire door check is something that anyone can do and was a focus for 2018:
To support the 5 step check, a series of 5 films were released – find out more here
A fire door propped open will not perform to its prime purpose – to delay the spread of fire and smoke. Whilst we’ve all probably been guilty at some point of wedging a fire door open, it really can have drastic consequence if a fire breaks out.
The ‘Click It, Kick It’ campaign waged war on the lethal fire door wedge. The campaign urged anyone who spotted a fire door being wedged open to take a photo (click it), to share on social media using the #ClickItKickIt and then to kick the wedge away (kick it) so that the door can close.
Taking place between 23rd and 29th September 2019, we have chosen the broad theme of sleeping accommodation. Why? We are at our most vulnerable when asleep whether at home or away from home (e.g. hotels, hospitals, residential homes, student accommodation, etc.). Keep checking the news section or follow us on Twitter @fdsafetyweek to find out more.