A large part of the importance of fire safety regulations relate to the ability to adequately escape from a premises in order to protect and save lives. So as well as complying with general fire building regulations, fire risk assessments state that fire exits must be in place, and fire doors fitted. To provide a clear distinction between the two, a fire door is an internal door designed to compartmentalise a section of a building in the event of a fire, whereas a fire exit door is the final exit leading to the outside of a building.
The presence of internal fire doors is one of the most basic measures that help in protecting a building and its occupants from the spread of fire and smoke. Yet because they are also especially important in terms of enabling easy fire escape and evacuation routes, they should be regularly checked to ensure they’re working properly and remain in good repair.
Internal fire doors must:
- Conform to British Safety Standards (BS 476: Part 22: 1987 or BS EN 1634-1: 2000) and be clearly signed as fire doors.
- Fire doors should be kept shut other than when in use. Never wedge a fire door open.
- Be regularly checked by the person in charge of fire risk assessment
Exit fire doors should be provided with an exit sign, and should not require the use of a key to open. They must also be clear of obstructions that may impede escape.