Why You Should Never Wedge Open A Fire Door

Fire doors are a crucial part of a building’s passive fire safety system, preventing the spread of smoke and flames when a fire breaks out. In any fire, time is of the essence: the longer that a blaze can be contained, the more likely it is that occupants will have the time to evacuate safely in an orderly manner.

In food manufacturing facilities, the risk of a fire is exacerbated by the use of heat, carelessness during cooking, combustible dust, and flammable vapours; a commercial kitchen’s ductwork or fume exhaust system can also encourage the flames to spread quickly. Fire doors, therefore, play a vital role in containing the fire so that employees can escape and valuable equipment is protected.

The Dangers Of Leaving A Fire Door Wedged Open

Fire doors feature self-closing mechanisms to ensure that they close after use but, in a busy working environment, it can be inconvenient to have to constantly open them – particularly if staff are laden with goods and don’t have free hands.

The temptation, therefore, may be to jam the doors open with a wedge, a piece of furniture, or a fire extinguisher – but doing so could prove to be disastrous for several reasons:

A Closed Fire Door Is A Legal Requirement.

Under fire door regulations, UK commercial premises, such as food manufacturing facilities, are required to have fire doors which must remain closed when not in use. Leaving a fire door open places your staff and site visitors in danger and, in the event of a blaze, could render business liable to prosecution, with potential consequences including hefty fines and imprisonment.

An Open Fire Door Increases The Risk Of Severe Injury Or Death.

Failure to adhere to legal fire door requirements has resulted in actual bodily harm or death to innocent victims. It isn’t just a theoretical risk. There are, sadly, many examples of people dying as a result of businesses failing to follow simple fire safety laws, including:

  • 80 per cent burns inflicted by a tenant in Norwich.
  • A death of an elderly resident in a care home in Devon.
  • 14 deaths in a facility in Scotland.

Complacency can be as deadly as the fire itself. Keeping fire doors closed is a moral, as well as a legal, responsibility.

An Open Fire Door Could Invalidate Your Insurance.

Should a fire break out on your premises, damage to property is inevitable. In food manufacturing facilities, ruined equipment and stock could cost a significant amount, but your business’s insurer may refuse to settle the claim if it is proven that an open fire door contributed to the fire’s spread. This is likely to be financially crippling and, if you cannot afford to repair the damage and replace vital equipment, it could put your entire business in jeopardy.

Contact Rhino Fire Control For Practical And Safe Fire Door Solutions

At Rhino Fire Control, we can help your business to implement effective passive fire protection to ensure that a blaze doesn’t prove catastrophic.

Our fire control experts can assess your business’s needs, ensure that all fire doors are appropriately FD-rated, and install hold open devices that legally allow your fire doors to remain open until the moment a fire occurs.

To find out more, please speak to an expert and get in touch to arrange a consultation with one of our specialists.

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