How to conduct a fire door safety check – a 5-step process

As part of their Fire Door Safety Week campaign, the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) set out a simple 5-step fire door check. Check out the key points below:

  1. Certification

Find the certification label or plug. These are usually sited on top of the door, however they can occasionally be found on the side. If no label can be found, this may not be a certified fire door and should be reported.

Top tip: using a mirror or the front facing camera on your phone makes this easier!

  1. Gaps

The gaps around the top and sides of a fire door must be consistently between 2-4mm when the door is closed, with a gap tolerance of up to 8mm underneath the door. Excessive gaps mean that fire and smoke may be able to travel through and should be reported.

Top tip: a £1 coin is around 3mm thick and so can be used to help you get an idea for scale.

  1. Seals

Look around the door or frame to identify any intumescent seals, checking that they are intact with no signs of damage. Any damage to these seals may prevent them from expanding in heat as designed which will hinder their ability to stop the passage of fire and should be reported.

  1. Hinges

Open the door and check that all hinges are firmly fixed. There should be at least three hinges per door with no missing or broken screws. Hinges which are not securely attached mean that the door may not be able to withstand the intensity of a fire as it should and should be reported.

Top tip: hinges which are not securely attached could also indicate that a door has not been well maintained

  1. Closing Properly

Ensure that the door closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or frame. You can do this by opening the door to around halfway, then letting go to see what happens when you allow it to close by itself. A fire door which is not able to fully close by itself will not be able to perform as it should in the event of a fire and should be reported.

Top tip: fire doors are only able to perform when closed and so should never be wedged open.

5 step fire door check

Download the check sheet [PDF]

If you need more help with conducting your fire door check, or have found that your fire doors do not meet the requirements outlined within the check, please get in touch with our team of fire door experts here.