Minister Backs First Fire Door Safety Week in UK

News Item
18 Sep 2013
Fire and Rescue Minister Brandon Lewis MP is the latest in a long list of high profile supporters backing Fire Door Safety Week which started this week.
Fire Door Safety Week is all about raising awareness of this critical element of fire safety in every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.
The brainchild of the BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme, the initiative aims to raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance, and encouraging building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and to report those that aren’t satisfactory.
In the process, the campaign hopes to engage and educate people, helping the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors.
Fire Door Safety Week supporters include the Government’s Fire Kills campaign, the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, the Passive Fire Protection Association, the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, and major property and construction groups such as the National Landlords Association, the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations, the Federation of Master Builders, Construction Products Association, Builders Merchants Federation, National Social Housing Fire Strategy Group and UK Contractors Group.
Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, says:
“I am pleased that the BWF is proactively working to raise awareness of an important area of fire safety through non-regulatory routes. We welcome all positive interventions that promote particular fire safety messages with relevant audiences to help reduce the devastating impact that fire can cause.”
There are about 3 million new fire doors bought and installed every year in the UK, the vast majority made from timber.  However, in a recent review of 100 cases prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire doors were the second highest reason for prosecutions. In many cases, incorrect doors and components are specified or brought onto site. And even when fire doors are correctly specified and installed, a recent survey among fire risk assessors revealed that 80% of the escape routes they saw were obstructed, 65% of fire doors were wedged open and 85% had door closers disconnected.
For updates on the campaign and the many events scheduled throughout the week, follow Fire Door Safety Week on Twitter @FDSafetyWeek or search for tweets with hashtag #firedoorsafetyweek.