21-27th September is Fire Door Safety Week in the United Kingdom.
This annual event aims to promote awareness of fire doors and the role they play in safeguarding the general public.
Fire door maintenance is extremely important; neglecting fire door policy can create dangerous situations and cost lives. It is essential to ensure fire doors are always kept in good condition and remain closed and unobstructed.
Fire Door Safety Week has come at a time when COVID-19 is causing additional pressure on local authorities that manage their own housing stock. This has resulted in significant delays to essential work which must be addressed as soon as possible.
Delays to Maintenance & Replacement Work
52% of UK local authorities responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reported delays of planned fire door maintenance and replacements in the first half of the year.
According to data collected from 147 local authorities, 63% of planned maintenance or replacement work was delayed between January and June 2020. Over half of these delays have been attributed to COVID-19-related concerns and restrictions, affecting almost 10,000 individual properties.
In August, the London Fire Brigade published an open letter to all major housing providers located in the capital. In it, the organisation strongly recommended property managers plan for new fire safety legislation that is soon to become law.
The letter specifically calls for building owners to consider the risks of fire doors in their fire risk assessments, regardless of the height of the building.
This further highlights the need for fire doors to effectively contribute to the containment of fires and improve the safety of those both inside and nearby.
For more information about Fire Door Safety Week and the importance of fire doors as part of an effective fire safety plan, please visit the official website here.