Fire Door Safety Week highlights need for greater education

21 September 2021

Running from 20 to 26 September, Fire Door Safety Week 2021 aims to raise awareness of the critical role that this particular feature of buildings plays in saving lives and protecting property.

Run by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), supported by the BWF Fire Door Alliance, it is an industry campaign which emphasises that issues around fire door safety do not just exist in high rise, high risk buildings.

“They are prevalent in pretty much any sector and building type that you can think of,” the BWF explains, “from care homes and hospitals to schools and specialist housing”.

People are six times more likely to report a heating system issue than one concerning a fire door, it notes, and twice as likely to report a toilet not flushing or no hot water.

Worrying research by the Federation reveals that more than one in 10 renters fear that raising fire safety concerns will affect their tenancy even though a third of all renters have experienced fire doors being damaged or propped open and a quarter noticed a broken fire alarm in the last 12 months alone.

The BWF also obtained data from 147 local authorities that own and manage their own housing stock which show that at least 26,318 fire doors were scheduled for maintenance or replacement between January and June 2020, but 16,580 did not progress.

With these planned works delayed until at least the second half of the year, nearly 10,000 individual properties were left at risk.

Resources to help promote Fire Door Safety Week and general fire door safety guidance include the Five Step Fire Door Check.

“Fire doors are a critical element in preventing the spread of fire and smoke,” the BWF concludes, “and it should be everybody’s responsibility in a shared building to make sure that they are fit for purpose”.