Watch how quickly fire can engulf a room!
That’s how long it took to completely fill a typical room in a typical house with thick black smoke!
Granted, we don’t all have dry pine trees sat in the corner of the room most of the year, but watch again and see how quickly the tree’s flames ignite the rest of the furniture, which is the main cause of the smoke.
Now look around you; look at the furniture and potential sources of ignition, all those plugs and wires, those electrical and/or gas appliances…
How quickly could the room you’re sitting in fill with smoke should the worst happen? Would you and other users of the building be able to safely exit if that smoke filled the hallway and stairwell?
The oft forgotten fire doors
Fire doors, and other passive fire protection measures, are often overlooked and their importance forgotten in the make up of a building and their vital part in a fire strategy.
As well as ensuring a door of the correct fire rating is used to offer effective protection within that particular fire compartment, it’s imperative a factory tested fire door is not only installed by a suitably qualified technician according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but used with correct ironmongery to keep the door within the fire test evidence and therefore certifiable.
Once installed, regular maintenance must be carried out to keep fire door assemblies at optimum performance levels. When you consider fire doors are installed to exacting standards, with perimeter gaps at only a few mm’s and door closers finely tuned, these doors can quickly fall out of balance, especially with doors in high traffic areas like corridor breaks and stairwell lobbies.
When carrying out fire door surveys and remedial fire door works, we are always surprised by the number of non-conforming fire doors we find in a building, with excessive gaps being the number one issue. In one recent survey of just over 200 fire doors, only one fire door assembly passed inspection! Or to look at it the other way, that’s 200 doors that failed the inspection and could potentially leak this sort of smoke into the rest of the building and not contain the fire as originally designed and installed.
Fire doors are often seen as “fit and forget” items with maintenance or replacement work only being requested when absolutely needed. Videos like this prove fire doors really should be;
a) installed correctly and to certifiable standards, as in line with our BM Trada Q-Mark accreditation as an example, and;
b) maintained on a regular basis to ensure they will perform correctly when needed.
Should you have any concerns about any of the fire doors in your building, please don’t hesitate to contact us.