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ASSA ABLOY Door Group highlights importance of fire door inspections in healthcare sector

16 July 2021

DOOR GROUP (a business unit of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK and Ireland) is calling for higher standards when it comes to fire door inspections after concerns were raised surrounding fire safety in healthcare environments.

Recent statistics reveal an increase in both the number of fires recorded and the number of people sustaining injuries from fires in NHS Trust properties across England. Shockingly, 1,560 fires were recorded in the 2019-2020 period and there were 46 injuries. That’s a significant increase of over 35% when compared with the statistics for 2018-2019.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires healthcare organisations to undertake risk assessments that will identify the general fire precautions needed to safeguard occupants in case of fire, including their safe means of escape. With fire protection systems apparently failing time and time again, the Door Group suggests it’s clear that more needs to be done.

Healthcare buildings can present highly specific requirements for fire doorsets, with particularly varied legislation and Building Regulations surrounding fire doors in hospitals. Fire doors are one of the most important safety features in a building. Regular inspections of them are essential to ensure that Health and Safety measures are being met.

Inspections and reports

Lee Cook, the Door Group’s business development manager for repair, service and maintenance, explained: “As part of our commitment to fire door safety in hospitals, the Door Group provides a fully comprehensive inspection programme which can be carried out every three, four, six or 12 months to suit specific requirements. Following on from those inspections, we then offer detailed reports containing advice and recommendations on necessary improvements, with the knowledge that identifying any potential issues that could impact safety and product performance can be a life-saving exercise.”

Cook added: “If any issues do occur, a tailored repair proposal is issued to include anything from replacement doors to a regular maintenance programme. Door Group inspectors are Building Research Establishment-certified and will ensure that all fire doors inspected meet all of the necessary standards and regulations.”

The Door Group manufactures high-performance steel and timber doors, all of them tailor-made to individual project requirements. Products include thos within the Powershield, Prima, Safeguard and SMARTec ranges. The company provides a specification, manufacture, installation and maintenance solution for architects, specifiers and contractors working across a range of markets.

Cause for concern

Brian Sofley, managing director for the Door Group, observed: “The figures we’re seeing regarding fires and injuries from fires in the healthcare sector are a great cause for concern. Hospitals should be a safe and secure environment for staff and patients, without any worries around fire safety.”

In conclusion, Sofley asserted: “Door Group is committed to making hospitals and other healthcare institutions across the UK safe from fire. With regular and thorough inspections, we can ensure the compliance and performance of fire door sets to improve overall fire safety within the sector.”

*Further information is available online at www.assaabloyopeningsolutions.co.uk