Recently FTS Safety Solutions were attending a hotel, to complete the PAT testing and Fire Extinguisher servicing. This is one of our long-standing clients, we provide all the Health and Safety inspections and services for them including: Fire Warden training, Emergency Lighting inspections, and maintenance along with the PAT Testing and Fire Extinguisher servicing.
In the course of providing these important services, we have access to all areas of the hotel and were shocked when we come across something which puts both the hotel, the staff and its visitors at risk. On every floor, there are fire doors, designed to separate areas and provide fire protection. These areas are commonly known as fire compartments, they separate areas and floors and are of a fire-resisting construction which hinders the spread of fire and smoke within the building. However, these fire doors were rendered completely useless as housekeeping were using rubber wedges to hold the doors open to allow quick movement around the floors and into the rooms.
Why You Should Not Wedge Open Fire Doors
It is dangerous to wedge, or prop open a fire door, these rubber wedges are not the only breaches we have seen, others include: chairs, pot plants, but more commonly what we like to call the big red doorstop, the infamous Fire Extinguisher.
If you wedge open a fire door not only is it illegal, it is judged that by doing so, you put someone’s life at risk, the business owner could suffer penalties, from a hefty fine to even imprisonment. There was a case where a restaurant owner was given a prison sentence and a fine of £70,000 not just for wedging fire doors open, but for the delipidated state of the fire doors, they were broken and did not fit correctly. It is recommended that businesses have their fire doors inspected on an annual basis depending on the environment and traffic.
Fire doors are designed to withstand a fire for a certain period, preventing the spread of fire and smoke ensuring that people have a safe route of evacuation. These doors can also protect the building and its contents against damage from a rapidly spreading fire. Fire doors are part of a building’s fire strategy and can only do their job if they are closed and are usually clearly marked with a sign stating, “Fire Door, Keep Shut”. A closed fire door is usually achieved with a self-closing door closer or a free-swing device.
A Safe Way To Hold Open Fire Doors
FTS Safety Solutions are approved installers of Dorgard and Freedor which are legal hold-open devices that keep fire doors open for convenience and closes them in the event of an emergency. These devices, when the fire alarm sounds, close the fire doors preventing the spread of fire and smoke while keeping the business compliant with mandatory fire regulations.
FTS Safety Solutions as approved installers of these fire door products, offer a free no obligation site inspection and survey, after which we can advise which solution would be best for your business or premises and then install them. Give us a call us on 0330 660 0264 or email [email protected] for more information.
Until next time, stay safe