Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have been made aware that some schools have altered their Risk Assessments due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, and are going to be wedging doors open throughout schools to reduce the risk of passing on COVID 19 amongst pupils and staff.
We must reiterate that the purpose of fire doors is not only to contain and prevent further damage should a fire start but also protects escape routes from heat and smoke. They are an active part of the fire protection within your building. By wedging fire doors open, this makes them ineffective and could potentially put students and staff at risk should a fire occur.
If in the case that the best option available is to, hold fire doors open then a suitable alternative should be sought. There are a number of door hold open devices available on the market that react to the fire alarm and release allowing doors to close in the event of a fire. These options should be discussed with a competent person and suitably risk assessed.
Please be aware that as the Responsible Person (RP) it is a requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 that adequate fire safety measures and provisions are in place and maintained to ensure the safety of all relevant persons who are legally on your premises.
RPs are reminded that they are responsible for:
- Ensuring fire safety.
- Protective and preventative measures are in place and maintained.
- The safety of any employees and relevant persons on their premises.
We appreciate times are difficult at the moment but fire safety should not be neglected as the risk hasn’t gone away and is as present today as it has been before. Should you have any questions or queries we have a number of Fire Safety Advisors on hand to assist and advise you in regards fire safety measures and requirements. Our dedicated business fire safety website contains general fire safety information as well as a dedicated page covering fire safety during COVID.
If you would like to get in contact or book a visit with one of our Fire Safety Advisors, please email: BSA@lancsfirerescue.org.uk