South Yorkshire people are risking lives by not observing fire laws in buildings

Fire sweeping through a building
Fire sweeping through a building

Poor awareness of fire door safety is putting lives in danger, even in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.

Despite the shock of the Grenfell fire in London last summer, research reveals that 50 per cent of people in South Yorkshire have still seen fire doors illegally kept open.

And nationally, almost one in two people surveyed admitted that they do not know how to identify a fire door.

The survey results are published in support of Fire Door Safety Week that runs until September 30, and aims to stress the importance of fire doors in saving lives.

The poll of 2,000 adults across the country, carried out by online supplier IronmongeryDirect and supported by the Fire Industry Association, illustrates an alarming lack of knowledge about fire doors which are a legal requirement in all commercial, public and multi-occupancy buildings.

Another disturbing outcome was that 70 per cent of respondents would not know who to contact if they noticed a problem with a fire door.

Ian Moore, CEO at the Fire Industry Association, said: “Fire doors are one of many essential elements to keeping safe from fire.  In all cases, a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment should be carried out by the responsible person - usually the building owner. 

“A fire risk assessment should determine, through thorough inspection, any potential risks or hazards so that they may be resolved.  

“If you are worried about hazards and risks from fire, you can always contact us, the Fire Industry Association, for free and impartial information and we will direct you to an expert.”

This research highlights the need for tradespeople and the wider public to be more aware of the essential role that fire doors play in keeping them safe.

Fire doors are specifically designed to withstand fire for between 30 and 240 minutes and, when used correctly, they can make a significant difference in saving lives and protecting buildings.

According to the British Woodworking Federation, the organisation behind Fire Door Safety Week, three million fire doors are installed each year. However, they should be regularly checked and maintained by those responsible for the upkeep of the building.

Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, Wayne Lysaght-Mason, commented: “We are now over a year on from the Grenfell Tower fire and it is disturbing that a significant proportion of the general public appear to lack basic fire door knowledge.”

The safety campaign says that fire doors can be the difference between life and death for building occupants.