WATCH: Fire Door Safety Week 2020 - what landlords need to know
This week it is the seventh annual Fire Door Safety Week. The week, organised by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) , aims to raise awareness and understanding of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property.
To mark the week, in this article we have put together some practical tips for landlords when it comes to fire door safety, including a video by the BWF outlining the '5 step check' for fire doors (below). We have also rounded up some useful NRLA resources for landlords on fire safety.
Practical tips for landlords
- If you have had a Fire Risk Assessment, make sure doors were covered and the assessor is knowledgeable in this area
- When you do your regular check, identify and include the fire doors, do the five step fire door safety check.
- If in doubt bring in a professional to carry out a survey – find them on the fire door inspection scheme website at fdis.co.uk
How to buy good quality fire doors
- You’ll find advice on specifying and buying high quality, third-party certificated fire doors and doorsets from the BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme knowledge centre.
- Always use a reputable and competent supplier – many people claim to make fire doors, but only some have got a properly tested product that is proved to work in a fire.
- Ask whether the product has been fire tested and demand to see the documentation that proves it (eg fire certificate or label).
- It’s not just the door itself that matters. The frame and ironmongery is just as important – they all work together. Only buy exact compatible hardware and components.
- Always ask for installation instructions and follow them to the letter.
- Saving a few quid on fire doors isn’t worth it. Consider the cost of damage and loss of life if a fire breaks out. Stick to the specification at all times.
Requirements to consider when specifying fire doors
- All rooms should have fire doors which have a self-closing mechanism.
- All fire doors must be durable and combine fire protection with accessibility.
How to install a fire door properly
- Fire doors are not ordinary doors. They’re a carefully engineered fire safety device and must be fitted correctly by a competent installer – if you employ people who install fire doors, make sure they know what they’re doing.
- Use technical checklist here to check the installation
NRLA fire safety guidance for landlords
The NRLA has a range of useful resources for landlords when it comes to learning more about fire safety, including detailed guidance for members on this subject and a foundation fire safety eLearning course.
Since 1 October 2015 landlords in England have been required to ensure smoke alarms are installed in all of their rented residential accommodation, and to also ensure carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in every room with a solid fuel heating appliance. This includes any open fireplace that is available for use i.e not blocked off. Read more in our guidance for landlords on smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements.