Fire warning as agents and landlords mark Fire Door Safety Week

A safety training service is warning of “alarming statistics” showing an increase in the number of fires and fatalities and a significant number of failed fire door inspections.

Pat Jefferies, commercial director at Abloy UK, says: “Abloy is a big Fire Door Safety Week supporter and we promote the crucial importance of fire doors in saving lives and protecting property – not just during the initiative but all year round.

“After a steady decline in previous years, the latest fire statistics showed an increase in fires in the UK, with 152,608 fires attended to in the year ending March 2022 – a one per cent increase compared with the previous year.
“Of these, 63,482 were primary fires – which are generally more serious and harm people or cause damage to property – a three per cent increase compared with the previous year.

“Sadly, fatalities increased by almost 15 per cent, with 272 fire-related deaths compared with 237 in the previous year. These included 99 during the final three months of 2021, which was the highest quarterly figure recorded since spring 2017, and prior to that the largest since winter 2008.

“Fire Door Safety is the ideal time to highlight the importance of this pertinent topic. When it comes to access control in public and commercial buildings, there is no greater responsibility than specifying the correct locking solution on emergency escape and fire doors. As the figures above show, it can mean the difference between life and death for the occupants.”

Fire Door Safety Week continues until November 4.

Launched in 2013, Fire Door Safety Week describes itself as a ‘mass market’ awareness campaign to increase public understanding of the vital role that fire doors play in protecting life and property. 

The campaign is managed by the British Woodworking Federation and is supported by a number of partners including the Home Office’s National Fire Safety campaign, the National Fire Chief’s Council and London Fire Brigade.

Its objectives are to raise awareness of the role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance; to encourage building owners and users to check the operation and condition of fire doors and report those that aren’t satisfactory; to link the initiatives of many organisations with common interests in the fire door and passive fire protection industries; and to engage and educate people, helping the building industry and property owners to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance.

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