Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
June 29, 2020


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

FDIS finds three quarters of fire doors failed inspections in 2019

In worrying news for the fire safety industry, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) has found that more than three quarters (76%) of fire doors it inspected in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose.

Further fire safety issues were also found in 63% of the buildings inspected by the FDIS.

The data, which refers to more than 100,000 inspections in over 2,700 buildings across the UK, also highlighted the challenges with fire door installation. 30% of fire doors nationwide were condemned due to poor installation, with problems including excessive gaps around the door and the use of non-compatible foam.

All FDIS inspectors follow a standard process and base their fire door assessments on an FDIS inspection checklist, where specific criteria have been set to ensure the doors are being inspected correctly. The specific criteria for the inspection are set by FDIS to ensure standards are being met and inspectors are following the same process. This enables the inspectors to generate an inspection report and note any non-compliant fire doors, highlighting the specific findings for each fire door inspected.

Louise Halton, Scheme Manager of FDIS, said: “The buildings that our inspectors visit include sleeping accommodation and those that house the elderly, the disabled, and people with mobility or cognitive needs – some of the most vulnerable in our society. However, the latest data shows that the vast majority of fire doors are not fit for purpose. This paints a very worrying picture of the fire safety of the UK’s buildings, and one that we must all play a role in changing for the better to help protect lives.”

Maintenance is clearly an issue within the industry, with 57% of fire doors inspected needing small scale maintenance. The top three reasons for failures were:

  • Excessive gaps
  • Smoke sealing issues
  • Poorly adjusted door closers

Of the buildings inspected, nearly a quarter (24%) of fire doors that were third-party certificated were correctly installed and maintained, while 40% of third-party certificated fire doors were condemned due to poor maintenance and 36% due to both poor installation and poor maintenance.

The FDIS believe the frequency of fire door inspections should be based on a risk assessment approach as the required inspection frequency depends on many factors including the age of the door, the last time the door was inspected, and its current condition. It has been suggested that a minimum quarterly inspection rule may be applied when the new Fire Safety Bill is implemented, recommended in Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Although quarterly inspections may be suitable for some fire doors, this wouldn’t be appropriate for high risk premises or high usage fire doors. Fire door inspections should be carried out by a suitably trained person. All approved FDIS inspectors are listed on the FDIS website.

Louise adds: “The biggest concern for our inspectors is the lack of knowledge that people have about fire doors. For example, third-party certificated fire doors provide crucial specification information and proof of performance for building owners, but if they are incorrectly installed or not maintained, they will not perform as designed and prevent the spread of fire.

“The correct specification, installation and ongoing maintenance of a fire door can really mean the difference between life or death for occupants, so it’s vital that building owners take responsibility and ensure that their fire doors are regularly inspected and maintained so as to save lives.”

Find out more information and download the FDIS data infographic, here.

2023 Fire Safety eBook – Grab your free copy!

Download the Fire Safety in 2023 eBook, keeping you up to date with the biggest news and prosecution stories from around the industry. Chapters include important updates such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and an overview of the new British Standard for the digital management of fire safety information.

Plus, we explore the growing risks of lithium-ion battery fires and hear from experts in disability evacuation and social housing.


Related Topics

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] say that a very large percentage of fire doors they inspect are not code-compliant, and now FDIS has published data about the inspections that took place in the UK in 2019.  For over 10 years, US enforcement of the […]


[…] 2019, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme found that 76% of fire doors inspected were condemned as not fit for purpose, with excessive gaps, damaged smoke seals and poorly adjusted […]


[…] shockingly, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) has found that more than three quarters (76%) of fire doors it in… The data refers to more than 100,000 inspections in over 2,700 buildings across the UK and also […]

February 12, 2021 4:50 pm

[…] Tower Inquiry. Worryingly, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) recently highlighted that three quarters of all fire doors inspected in 2019 were condemned as not fit for […]


[…] Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) found that more than three quarters of fire doors in UK buildings are not fit for purpose during inspections in 2019. Fire doors prevent the spread of smoke and fire within a building and […]


[…] year The Fire Door Inspection Scheme revealed that around three quarters of the fire doors it had inspected during 2019 were not fit for […]


[…] 2019 the Fire Door Inspection Scheme carried out research which uncovered that a shocking 76% of doors inspected were deemed unfit for […]