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More than three quarters (76%) of the fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose.
The three top reasons for failure were excessive gaps, smoke
sealing issues and poorly adjusted door closers.
FDIS, which examined more than 100,000 inspections in over
2,700 buildings across the UK, also highlighted the challenges with fire door
installation. Some 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. In addition, 63% of the buildings inspected also
had additional fire safety issues.
A total of 57% of installed fire doors inspected needed
small scale maintenance.
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.”
She added: “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
The Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) was launched as a
joint venture by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the Guild of
Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) in 2012. The research was based on a FDIS
survey of its inspectors carried out in January and February 2020.