Head of Norfolk’s fire prevention team urges people to ensure fire doors are kept shut as he backs Fire Door Safety Week
Workers and residents are being reminded by Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) of the importance of ensuring fire doors fitted at buildings across the county are kept shut.
Next week is National Fire Door Safety Week (25 Sept to 1 Oct) which aims to reiterate the message that fire doors save lives and property. The campaign aims to engage and educate building owners and users on how to use the doors properly and is being backed by NFRS.
Garry Collins, Head of Fire Protection and Prevention at NFRS, explained why the service is backing the campaign. He said: “Fire doors are proven to reduce the risk of fires spreading and increase the chance of people evacuating a building quickly and safely. But they are no use if they are propped open as an acceptable management practice. If members of the public or staff see doors propped open, particularly at night, they should close them and report the problem to the responsible person for the building.”
“Our priority is to keep everyone safe and well. We offer free home fire risk checks to residents and also visit commercial buildings to advise on how businesses can reduce the risk of fire and ensure staff safety.
“If Norfolk residents do experience a fire in their home, they should evacuate as quickly and safely as possible, closing doors, including non-fire doors, behind them as they leave rooms,” said Garry.
“There are other preventative measures people can take to keep themselves safe, such as ensuring smoke alarms are fitted - and tested weekly-, not leaving candles burning and planning an escape plan so you know what to do if a fire does occur.”
National checks by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme found fire doors with unsuitable hinges, gaps between the door and frame, missing seals, incorrect signage and door damage.
Effective fire doors are crucial, particularly in high-rise residential and commercial buildings where people may need to travel some considerable distance to get out to a place of safety. Since the fire at Grenfell Tower, NFRS has been working tirelessly to review safety in public and private buildings. This included inspections at all of Norfolk’s high rise blocks, mid-rise blocks and public buildings including hospitals and schools. The service is currently working with business owners to carry out on-site checks across the county, to improve the shared understanding, ownership and importance of all safety management requirements.