Lack of workplace fire door awareness putting lives at risk, survey suggests

Published:  10 September, 2015

Fifty-three per cent of employees who replied to a recent survey have admitted to not knowing how to spot a faulty fire door, while 28% didn’t know it was illegal to prop open a fire door without a specially designed device approved by the fire authority.

More than a third of those asked said they hadn't received the necessary fire safety training from employers, placing them at risk of injury or death in the event of a fire.

The survey of 1,000 UK employees, conducted ahead of Fire Door Safety Week, which runs from 14 to 20 September, revealed that many employees were not aware of the steps they should take if the fire alarm was to sound. Twenty-two per cent would look to see what everyone else was doing before taking action, 13% would just ignore it and carry on working and 4% would try and find the fire.

The study, carried out by IronmongeryDirect, supplier of ironmongery products, found that 47% of respondents were aware that their employer carried out regular fire risk assessments - which are a legal requirement. 24% said they weren’t aware of regular risk assessments and 29% didn’t know either way.

IronmongeryDirect has launched a fire door safety checklist, aiming to make it easy for people to spot a faulty fire door and check it is in full working order. The document covers all of the essential components required to make a fire door fully operational and can be taken on the job by tradespeople who have been tasked with installing or maintaining a fire door.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “Having robust fire safety procedures in place in the workplace is of the utmost importance as business owners have a duty to ensure that their staff members are safe.

“Failure to implement a proper fire safety plan not only puts people’s lives at risk, but can lead to prosecution and fines for those responsible for fire safety in the building.

“One of the most crucial methods of stopping the spread of a fire is to install fire doors and so it is important that they are installed and maintained properly and comply with fire regulations.

“We have put together our new fire door safety checklist to make it easier to spot unsafe fire doors and get them back in good working order,” Mr Lysaght-Mason said.

During Fire Door Safety Week IronmongeryDirect will also be raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need.

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