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Crucial advice to locksmiths about the integrity of a fire door following refurbishment

With dhf’s ultimate objective to maintain and raise quality standards throughout the industry and in light of recent events, we are offering advice to UK locksmiths regarding the safety and integrity of timber fire-doors following refurbishment or modification.  Ultimately, with the weight of legal responsibility sitting on the locksmith, it is essential that the integrity of the fire-door is not compromised.  

“There are many considerations in ensuring that locksmiths are operating within legal guidelines when it comes to any alterations made to a fire-door,” explains BRE’s Bob Richards.  “Evidence of performance is crucial.  For example, has the lock in question, been subject to a relevant fire test with the actual door on which it will be used?”

Other factors essential in meeting compliance are establishing how much timber is to be removed from the door leaf and if this is within the scope of the door leaf manufacturer’s tested data.  The flammable components or low melting point metals contained in the lock or associated hardware will also need to be considered.  The danger is that such materials could transmit fire to the non-fire side of the door. The evidence of performance should identify whether or not it will be necessary to fit intumescent material around the lock to replace any breaks in the perimeter seals of the door leaf. 

Central to dhf’s purpose of course, is educating those with the ultimate responsibility for safety concerning fire resisting and escape doors, especially when there is any potential modification or refurbishment to the locks or hardware.

It is absolutely essential that locksmiths, contractors, facilities and property managers are fully aware of both their responsibilities when it comes to fire-door maintenance or modification and the consequences if they don’t get it right! A compromised fire/smoke resisting door can make the difference between life and death.

dhf delivers one-day training courses around fire-door safety and inspection, in collaboration with BRE.  The dhf/BRE training courses enable an understanding of the risks around poorly installed and/or maintained fire-doors and the wider role of how vital fire-doors are in saving lives and protecting property.  The courses collectively offer a comprehensive overview of the regulations and standards applying to fire-doors, knowledge of the different types of fire-doors and their inspection, installation, repair and maintenance – including hardware – and support our continuing drive to encourage excellence and best practice industry-wide.

The one-day training courses are open to everyone.  dhf encourages all its members with the responsibility of inspection, installation, repair and maintenance of fire/smoke resisting doorsets, to attend.   

For further information on dhf/BRE’s fire-door education programme, please contact Beth 

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