When you think about hospitals, schools, and other buildings where there are groups of vulnerable people living and learning for long periods of time, there are certain sets of regulations and laws that must be adhered to in order to keep those people safe. Fire doors in schools is one area of utmost importance, as if a fire were to break out in a school with hundreds of pupils and staff for instance, without fire doors there is the chance of plenty of injuries and fatalities. No one wants this to happen of course, and that is why it is vital that fire safety is understood implicitly in schools.
Fire doors are important, as with the correct design and installation they can go a long way to preventing a fire from spreading in devastating ways. It blocks off one area of a building from another, preventing fire and smoke from quickly spreading and causing damage to the building and harming people inside. There are strict fire safety regulations for new school buildings, as well as within old school buildings, and fire doors are an integral part of these regulations.
Within existing school buildings fire safety regulations relate to the undertaking of regular fire risk assessments. These assessments are designed to provide a high level of awareness within the staff members and students about school fire safety and fire doors. What this means in practical terms in a building such as a school, is that fire doors are never wedged open. We’ve all seen the scene of fire doors wedged open with other fire safety equipment, but what this does is prevent a fire door from fulfilling its primary function – stopping fire and smoke from spreading. In the event of a fire it is unlikely that a person (most likely in a panic) will take the time to unblock a fire door to allow it to shut. There just isn’t the time in most cases.
It is also important that those areas deemed a high fire risk (such as the kitchen and catering facilities) are separated from the rest of the school building by highly resistant timber fire doors. Standard fire doors are suitable for long corridors and other parts of a school building. Staff and pupils should also be given thorough fire safety training at regular intervals regarding the blocking of fire escape routes and fire drills.
For brand new school developments there is a design list for fire safety that they should follow, which includes strict information on school fire doors. Fire doors in new schools must have a vision panel that can help with the flow of pupils and staff and to easily witness whether a fire door is containing smoke and fire.
We cannot understate the importance of high standard fire doors for schools and proper fire door installation, utilising professional fire door suppliers in both cases. All fire doors should be regularly checked to ensure they are in full working order, especially in schools where there is a high number of people present at any given time, including high numbers of vulnerable children.