Fire Door Safety Week has come around again, with the week of September 23rd – 29th a week where the British Woodworking Federation and fire door safety campaigners across the country highlight the importance of fire doors and how they play a life-saving role in protecting us in many different ways. This year there is particular focus on how fire doors can have a positive impact on keeping us safe as we sleep.
This year is the seventh annual fire door safety week and has demonstrated the many different ways in which fire doors are important and how important it is to understand and implement good fire safety practice in many different areas of life. Fire doors as a means of protecting us whilst we sleep is a theme this year that is particularly focused on specialised housing. This could be children’s homes, care homes, sheltered housing, communal properties and other houses in multiple occupation.
There has been plenty of research put forward to demonstrate how important fire doors are in playing a crucial safety role within care home buildings. Especially where the most vulnerable are supported there is a real need for peace of mind and a feeling that we are being protected. This becomes even more important when we are asleep and have no awareness of what is going on around us. A high-quality fire door brings that peace of mind, protecting us from the dangers of fire and smoke in the event of a break-out in a different part of the building.
Fire doors must be properly installed though, and carefully and regularly maintained as part of a wider programme of good fire safety practice. Where there are vulnerable residents and multiple occupants good fire safety practice becomes even more important as it is a matter of life and death that everything runs as smoothly as it should do. This includes proper installation and maintenance of fire doors of course, but it also means having clear fire escape routes, that are unblocked and clear of anything that could get in the way. There should also be fire drills on a regular basis, and a clear understanding of all individual responsibilities on site, fire evacuation points to count heads when out of the building, and a clear strategy and process to alert the emergency services and to provide clear and accurate information of what has taken place.
The 2018 edition of Fire Door Safety Week reached over 35 million people through events, social media, and other forms of PR, and this year there is a real aim to reach even more people. One of the more hard-hitting promotions is a video highlighting how helpless residents actually are if landlords and the authorities fail to act on fire safety. You can find more information in the resources section of www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk, as well as hints and tips about fire safety in general and about specific advice regarding fire doors, their installation and on-going maintenance.