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September 20, 2021

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Fire doors

Calls for greater education on fire door safety and compliance as Fire Door Safety Week 2021 kicks off

A greater awareness and education of fire door compliance is needed in the UK, says Abloy UK and ASSA ABLOY Door Group, as Fire Door Safety Week 2021 begins.

The company notes how there even more challenges since the onset of more flexible working, which has placed differing requirements on access control management, fire doors and occupant life safety in commercial buildings.

FireDoorSafetyWeek-Abloy-21Pat Jefferies, Commercial Director at Abloy UK, explains: “The commercial working environment has changed drastically over the last year, with many organisations adopting a more flexible way of working with a mix of on-site and working from home.

“This means many commercial buildings will potentially have significantly reduced occupancy, but just because a building has fewer people in it, doesn’t mean fire safety can be overlooked or underestimated.

“In the event of an emergency such as a fire, there needs to be a reliable exit route that allows a quick and easy escape, so it’s vital the correct locking solutions are installed at access points. As well as the importance from a life-safety perspective, this will also help to control the flow of people.”

While there has been a 6% decrease in fire-related incidents in the 2019/20 period compared with previous years, much work is still needed to ensure fires and fatalities don’t happen, says Abloy.

Fire Door Safety Week 2021 is running from 20-26 September, with several webinars available to attend free of charge. Topics will cover an introduction to fire doors, the importance of fire and smoke leakage performance, fire door inspections, the importance of third party certification, Grenfell Tower and more.

Abloy’s academy has been educating delegates on fire door compliance for over a decade, with free courses available on Electrical Locking Fire and Escape Doors CPD courses. The courses cover fundamental requirements when incorporating access control into buildings, how to design compliant systems, and the requirements of fire door and escape door legislation, such as BS EN179 Emergency Escape.

The standards state that even if a door is electronically controlled for access there must be a compliant mechanical means of escape in an emergency. In the case of fire doors this is essential to provide fire protection, compartmentalise a building and protect the escape routes.

Pat concludes: “When it comes to access control in public and commercial buildings, there is no greater responsibility than specifying and installing the correct locking solution on emergency escape and fire doors.

“Although Fire Door Safety Week gives us a relevant platform to highlight these issues, fire door safety should be front of mind all year round – especially when the ultimate cost from non-compliance can be the loss of life.”

Brian Sofley, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY Door Group, also adds: “Fire doors are one of the most important safety features in a building. Whilst providing access around the property they are a critical part of the fire compartmentation requirement.

“We understand the building industry is under constant pressure to drive down costs and deliver services quicker than ever before. However, specification errors, unresolved installation issues and poor maintenance of fire safety products can have devastating consequences.”

Find out more about what’s on this Fire Door Safety Week. 

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