No one wants to be the office mother but enforcing health and safety rules, particularly ones that seem a little harder to understand the reasons behind, can take some epic nagging.
Offices are prone to poor air flow and when summer approaches it’s all the more tempting to prop open the fire door to get a cool breeze flowing through but I’m sure anyone that cheekily wedge it open will have gotten an ear full of it by their HR manager, without really understanding the reason. This is because leaving a fire door wedged open is a direct violation of the health and safety regulations in the UK. Many other countries also have similar fire safety regulations.
Fire doors are installed to prevent a fire from rapidly spreading. By containing the fire gives a better chance for employees to escape unharmed and limit the damage to the commercial building.
Not all doors are fire doors, as the must be certified, but they are required when:
·A door leads to a stairwell exit
·A door leads to a hazardous area, such as cleaning supply room holding flammable cleaning products.
·A door opens onto a hallway or from one fully enclosed room to another.
Whilst it’s clear that fire doors help to save lives and minimise damage they can be a nuisance. Fire doors can be a particular nuisance when you have lots of employees moving around the building. Or try pulling open three fire doors with a tray of tea and coffees! This is why many companies turn a blind eye to the practice of wedging a door open on a hot day believing that there is little chance of a fire actually occurring but in the UK figures show that in 2007 31,000 fires were reported in buildings other than dwellings. This also includes private gardens and sheds but they only account for 22% of the reported fires.
If you hate enforcing the rules, particularly when you too like having the door open, there are options available that allow you to keep your cool image and have the fire door legally open. A fire door guard or fire door retainer allows you to prop open the door safely, without having anything wedging that may be an obstruction. The fire door guard actively listens for the fire alarm and will automatically shut in the event of a fire.
By installing a door guard you can save the nagging for other health and safety risks such as the ones reported in this article.
The author of this post writes for Fireco, manufacturers of intelligent products and systems that listen for the sound of the Fire Alarms and help service providers to comply with their responsibilities and legal obligations under legislation. Blog4Safety and Texas America Safety Company appreciate Kate sending this important information.