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Fire Doors - The 5 Step Check

Those residents living in flats are subject to additional safety measures and as part of our fire risk assessments and estate inspections, we inspect all the fire doors in our properties to ensure they are safe and compliant.

Residents can help us by reporting any faults they spot with the fire doors. Here’s a 5 Step Check to what to look out for:

Is there a label or plug on top (or occasionally on the side) of the door to show it is a certificated fire door? You can use your mobile phone camera or a mirror to check. If there is, that’s good news, otherwise report it to whoever is in charge of your building.

Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when closed. You can use a £1 coin to give a feel for scale, this is about 3mm thick. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm is not uncommon), but it does depend on the door – as a rule of thumb, if you can see light under the door, the gap is likely to be too big. It’s good news if the door fits the frame and it’s not damaged. If not, report it. If the gaps are too big smoke and fire could travel through the cracks.

Are there any intumescent seals around the door or frame, and are they intact with no sign of damage? These seals are usually vital to the fire door's performance, expanding if in contact with heat to ensure fire cannot move through the cracks. Most fire doors also have a smoke seal around the perimeter as well as the intumescent seal. This brush or fin seal should fill the gap when the door is closed. If not, report it - the door may not be properly maintained and in the intensity of a fire may not protect you long enough.

Are the hinges firmly fixed (three or more of them), with no missing or broken screws? If you see problems, report it - the door needs to be properly maintained.

Is the door easy to operate and does it close fully? Open the door about halfway, let go and allow it to close by itself. Does it close firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or the frame? If not, report it. A fire door only works when it’s closed. A fire door is completely useless if it’s wedged open or can’t close fully.

1. Check for certification
2. Check the gaps
3. Check the seals
4. Check the hinges
5. Check the door closes properly

5 Step Check video

You can also find guidance in the following video.