Fire doors are essential for safety in many industries and commercial buildings. They protect not only your business assets from devastating fire damage and severe financial losses, but they also protect your human capital — your employees - from harm.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) set the standards for fire doors, smoke dampers, and more. This includes not only the guidelines for property installation of fire doors, including the varied types, but also the hardware in use to make the doors operational, the maintenance requirements of each fire door, and the fire door inspection standards.
Here's a close-up look at one common — but major — problem that is often found during fire door inspections:
Doors That Don't Close Correctly Are a Serious Hazard
Some of the most common problems found during inspections are fire doors that just don't close properly. A door that doesn't close properly is practically useless, and it puts your entire building and everyone inside in danger. Here are some of the issues that you need to watch out for:
- Self-closing doors that don't return to starting position as they should. Self-closing doors are doors that are kept continuously closed (such as the kind kept in labs and hospitals) except when someone is walking through. As soon as the button or arm that controls the door is released, it should immediately return to the closed position. Over time, doors can cease to fully close, leaving a tiny (but dangerous) gap.
- Automatic doors that fail to prevent smoke leakage. Automatic doors are normally kept in the open position, usually because they are in areas where traffic through them is constant. They're designed to close on their own when an automatic closing system or device activates. If the closing device responds only to heat instead of smoke, the door won't shut in time to prevent smoke from spreading. That smoke can contain dangerous fumes and cause breathing difficulties that make it harder for people to escape the building.
- Pneumatic doors that aren't integrated into the building's fire alarm system. Pneumatic doors are designed to be opened and closed with barely a touch, but they also contain devices that deactivate them in emergencies. If the devices aren't properly integrated into the building's fire alarm system, they may fail to close at all.
Whatever facility you operate, it's critical to understand the importance of regular fire door inspections and fire door repairs. Faulty fire doors, if spotted, can cause regulatory bodies to shut an entire facility or factory down until the issues are resolved. To learn more, contact a fire door inspection service.