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Fire Door Safety Week research rings alarm bells for parents

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17/09/2015
Fire Door Safety Week research rings alarm bells for parents

Hannah Mansell, BWF

New research commissioned by BWF Certifire for Fire Door Safety Week (14-20 September 2015) sounds an alarm bell for many families who are seeing their children heading off to college or university and leaving home for the first time.  The research shows that fire door safety is being taken for granted. In many cases, people are not even thinking about it at all. It shows that there is widespread misunderstanding of the critical role that fire doors play in the event of a fire. Almost three in ten families admitted that neither they nor their child had checked the fire safety of a property before moving in.

All too often, an internal fire door is confused with a fire exit door.

An internal fire door is often the first line of defence in a fire. The reason why the survey findings are so alarming is that fire doors are found in every type of building – at home, at work and in many of the buildings we use or visit. I wonder how many of us walked through a fire door today without giving it a second thought. Have you noticed any today?

Its real job is to be closed if a fire breaks out, and to contain and provide a barrier between ourselves and a fire. A properly installed, maintained and fully functioning fire door can almost certainly save lives in the event of a fire.

The message of Fire Door Safety Week is simple: If you suspect that a building that you are living in, working in, or visiting has a faulty fire door, don’t walk by. Report it to whoever owns or manages the building. You could save a life that day.

On the Fire Door Safety Week website, you can download films and find further information on how to check a fire door to make sure it’s safe. It’s time to get informed and make sure our loved ones are too. In the event of a fire, how vital are fire doors for personal safety?

On average, 25 people are seriously injured or killed in a fire every day in the UK. Fire doesn’t discriminate. It can break out at any time and anywhere, whether at home, at work, where you sleep, or where you socialise with mates. We cannot assume that a fire will not happen to us, or sit there with our fingers crossed.
The thing about fire is that it is unpredictable. It spreads fast. If fire doors are not properly installed, maintained and closed when a fire breaks out, it’s too late. Without a properly installed fire door in place, a fire can rip through a building and there is nothing that will stop it.

In 2012, a fire broke out in a block of flats in London. At the same time, Sophie Rosser, a 23 year old student, was returning home to the flat she shared with her boyfriend. Sophie lost her life trying to save her boyfriend. At the inquest, the coroner recorded that if the self-closing fire door had not been wedged open on a warped floor, it would have made a world of difference.

With approval from Sophie’s father, we produced a short film called Remember Sophie. This film and all of our other useful information about how to check fire doors is on the Fire Door Safety Week website, along with details of hundreds of supporters and resources that have been prepared to help us all get informed about fire doors.

For further results and information about Fire Door Safety Week, please visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk

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