Last edited 16 Nov 2020

Fire Door Inspection Scheme

Buildings should be designed to offer an acceptable level of fire safety and minimise the risks from heat and smoke. The primary objective is to reduce the potential for death or injury to the occupants of a building and others who may become involved, such as the fire and rescue service.

The fire safety of building occupants is maintained through the provision of adequate means of escape in the event of a fire and by ensuring the fabric of a building does not contribute significantly to fire growth in the early stages following ignition.

According to BRE's Installing fire doors and doorsets (GG 86), fire doors serve three main purposes:

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (sometimes referred to as the Fire Safety Order or the RRO) came into force in 2006. It requires that owners of premises other than private dwellings appoint a responsible person (the person having control of the building) who takes reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and makes sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. They must carry out a fire risk assessment, or ensure one is carried out, and manage any fire risk.

Article 17 requires that a maintenance regime is established to ensure equipment such as fire doors are kept in an efficient state and Article 18 requires that the responsible person appoints competent person(s) to assist in undertaking preventive and protective measures. This includes ensuring fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and maintained, with inspections carried out every 6 months.

Non-compliance with the Fire Safety Order can result in prosecution, and action to prevent the premises from being used for certain purposes.

Established in 2012, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) is the first scheme in Europe to assist competent persons in demonstrating their competence to perform duties under the order.

Delivered by the BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI), the scheme provides a route for obtaining a Diploma in Fire Doors (DipFD) and applying to become a Certificated Fire Door Inspector (CertFDI) able to carry out on-site inspections of installed fire doors.

Certified inspectors must comply with the FDIS Code of Conduct.

In 2015, on their third anniversary, the FDIS reported that 61% of fire doors inspected had problems with fire or smoke seals, nearly a quarter had unsuitable hinges and many fire doors had bigger gaps between the door and frame than the required 3mm. Ref Contractors 'sleepwalking into danger' over fire door errors, Construction Index 12 May.

In May 2020, it was reported that 76% of the fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in 2019 were not fit for purpose.

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