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Tenant Update – Fire doors and Fire safety – Health and Safety April 2023

Fire doors are an integral part of a building’s fire strategy. Having Fire doors helps limit the spread of fire and keeps you safe to enables you enough time to evacuate the building and keeps the building safe. They are only effective if they remain closed.

Why is it that important?

Each Fire door works with the Fire Alarm system and when the alarm is activated it close the doors automatically, this slows down any fire spreading into other areas. If you have an item that is in the way, such as a door stopper to prevent the door from closing, you have allowed the fire access to your areas. This would give you less time to evacuate your area before smoke and fire enters your area.

Each Fire door has between 30 minutes and up to 120 minutes before the fire breaches the door – wedging the fire door open gives you may be from 1 minute to 3 minutes to escape if the fire is in your area. Now can you see why when completing a fire evacuation, it needs to be done within 3 minutes. Wedging a fire door open stops it from automatically closing, therefore it can do its job to protect you and the spread of fire and smoke will spread quicker. 

Did you know? If you wedge open a fire door and it is judged that this has put someone’s life at risk, you could suffer penalties, including a fine or even a prison sentence.

It is likely your building and contents insurance could be affected by a fire door being held open. If proven that a fire has spread due to a wedged open fire door, and other tenants areas are damaged, you could be liable for their damaged equipment/area and loss of income.

Fire doors are heavy and hard to open, especially if you are frail or have accessibility issues. One solution to this problem is have automatic doors on a push button device, or to go and collect your patient and open the door for them. 

Leaving the door open for circulation reasons is also not acceptable. However, if your venting system needs repairing, please put a job through the CHP helpdesk.

Wedging the fire door open could also cause a security risk for you, and your patients. If you cannot find another solution, please speak to your ORM for other solutions.

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