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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
August 17, 2016


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Fire Door Safety Week 2016 to focus on HMOs, care homes and social housing

Fire Door Safety Week 2016 will focus on houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), sheltered housing and care homes, and private rented, council and social housing – all seen as high-risk areas for fire safety.

Now in its third year, the award-winning campaign will once again see events held around the UK to promote the correct installation, maintenance and management of fire doors to protect property and save lives.

The event, which runs from 26 September to 2 October, will also commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, an epochal event that gave rise to the fire door.

“From April 2014 to March 2015 there were 28,200 dwelling fires in England alone,” said Hannah Mansell, BWF-Certifire scheme manager and Fire Door Safety Week spokesperson. “Deaths from these fires contributed to nearly two-thirds of the total fire fatalities in that time frame.

“This is why we continue to campaign for changes in legislation and to educate people on the importance of fire doors. A properly installed fire door can save your life.”

dorset school fire door 1

When fire broke out in a school this properly installed fire door averted disaster

Housing landlords and building owners/managers are obliged under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure fire doors in their building are correctly specified, installed and maintained. Research by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS)– which organises the campaign along with the British Woodworking Federation and the BWF-Certifire Fire Door Scheme –found that more than £450,000 in fines was issued to the landlords and managers of HMOs throughout 2015, as well as a number of custodial and suspended sentences.

People don’t realise that properly specified fire doors provide a barrier to stop the spread of fire and smoke and can last between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the door.” David Oldfield, chairman of BWF-Certifire.

South Wales, West Midlands and London fire and rescue services, as well as many companies in the door and hardware industries, have pledged their support to the campaign. Fire Door Safety Week is also backed by the Government’s Fire Kills campaign, the Fire Sector Federation, the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Children’s Burns Trust (CBT) and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI).

Mansell says the priority this year is to get more influential organisations involved with the campaign. “Last year was a resounding success for Fire Door Safety Week with 129 organisations pledging support and many running events. This year we want to build on that momentum by encouraging even more fire services, local councils and stakeholders to get involved and help us to spread the fire door safety message.”

Arnold Laver, Gerda, Vetrotech, ASFP, PFPF and Lorient UK are among the companies arranging events for the week. London Fire Brigade and BWF-Certifire are holding a fire door safety conference to its fire safety teams across London on 29 September 2016.

The winning fire door in the Dodgy Fire Door of the Year Awards 2014

The winning fire door in the Dodgy Fire Door of the Year Awards 2014

Click It, Kick It

BWF-Certifire is also launching a social media campaign to warn of the dangers of fire door wedges. The , Click It, Kick It campaign will urge anyone who sees a fire door being wedged open to take a photo (Click It), share it on social media using the hashtag #ClickItKickIt, and to kick the wedge away (Kick It) so the door can close. They should also report it to the building owner or manager.

Confiscated or donated wedges – each of which will trigger a donation from BWF-Certifire to the Children’s Burns Trust – will feature in a piece of artwork to be unveiled at a reception on 2 September – the 350th anninversary of the Great Fire of London.

“Click It, Kick It is all about raising awareness of the importance of keeping fire doors in good working order,” David Oldfield, chairman of BWF-Certifire. “People don’t realise that properly specified fire doors provide a barrier to stop the spread of fire and smoke and can last between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the door.

“In an emergency, every second counts. Time is critical and can be the difference between life and death. If the door is wedged open then it can’t protect us – wedging open fire doors are a bad habit we have to break.

“This year is particularly significant as it raises the question why after 350 years have we not nailed this. The wedge is just part of a legacy of neglect arising from historically poor specification, installation, maintenance and management of fire doors. There is no excuse for poor fire door safety. Corners have been cut and bad decisions have been made, but we hope through Fire Door Safety week to stop the rot and restart the market.”

The Fire Door Safety Week website offers tailored advice to those responsible for fire safety in a range of sectors, including housing, schools and hospitals.
There are also technical checklists to help with fire door inspections as well as videos and posters for use in any private, public or multiple occupancy building to educate occupants on fire door best practice.

Theodore Firedoor, meanwhile, is inviting people to send images and videos of dodgy fire doors to its Facebook page.

Follow @FDSafetyWeek on Twitter for campaign news and updates or use the hashtag #FireDoorSafetyWeek.

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