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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-24-09

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Regional survey shows worryingly low awareness of fire door safety in Merseyside

A survey of 2,000 adults in support of Fire Door Safety Week that runs from 25 September 2017 to 1 October 2017, has shown an alarming lack of general public awareness of the essential role of fire doors, which are a legal requirement in all commercial, public and multi occupancy buildings. The research, carried out by Iron Mongery Direct, revealed that 53% of people in Merseyside have seen a fire door being illegally wedged open. This compares to the UK wide statistic which stood at almost 1 in 2 people (49%). Another troubling outcome was that 24% of respondents in North West were unaware that fire doors must be kept shut at all times compared to the national average of 1 in 4 people (25%).

Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for the Fire Door Safety Week campaign, said:- "The survey results indicate that the public need to be more aware of the critical role of fire doors. Often the 1st line of defence in a fire, their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Of course, a wedged open fire door provides no protection. We urge everyone to immediately contact the person responsible for fire safety in their building if they are unsure of the condition or inappropriate use of a fire door. Report major concerns to the local fire brigade, who can carry out audits of the premises. Cutting corners with badly fitted fire doors or those with incompatible, non fire rated or certificated components costs lives."

The survey also highlighted that 38% of people in Merseyside did not know the difference between a fire door and an ordinary door. In addition, 32% of people across the county said they would prop a fire door open to let in fresh air among other reasons. According to the British Woodworking Federation, the organisation behind Fire Door Safety Week, 3 million fire doors are installed each year. However, they remain a significant area of neglect and should be regularly checked and maintained by those responsible for the upkeep of the building.

Managing director of IronmongeryDirect, Wayne Lysaght Mason, commented:- "Although our survey was carried out just a month after the Grenfell Tower fire in June, it is disturbing that a significant proportion of the general public seem to lack basic fire door knowledge. We urge the public to contact the person in charge of fire safety in their building if they are unsure about the condition or use of the fire doors. We also encourage trades people to use our online fire door checklist to help assess whether fire doors in buildings they occupy, or are responsible for, are legally compliant."

The safety campaign says that fire doors are often the 1st line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants.


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