Raising awareness of fire doors that protect us while we sleep

Fire door safety campaigners are stressing the life-saving role that fire doors play in protecting us while we sleep, as part of this year’s Fire Door Safety Week (23-29 September), run by the British Woodworking Federation.

The awareness week, now in its seventh year, will once again highlight the importance of fire doors and good fire safety practice. This year it will focus on the critical role fire doors play in protecting us when we’re asleep, particularly in specialised housing such as care homes, children’s homes and sheltered housing as well as houses in multiple occupation and communal properties.

Research conducted for this year’s Fire Door Safety Week amongst care home workers will reveal concerns about fire safety as well as a lack of clarity about the crucial role that fire doors play in care home buildings.

Helen Hewitt, chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “We all need to feel protected, and especially so when we are asleep. Fire doors play a vital role as the first line of defence against fire and smoke, containing their spread while buildings are evacuated. But they must be properly installed and maintained, and good fire safety practice must be shared and followed. That’s why we continue to raise awareness every year through Fire Door Safety Week.

“Good practice is especially important in buildings with multiple occupants and residents who may be vulnerable. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.”

Numerous events and campaign activities are being held throughout Fire Door Safety Week, which is supported by a number of agencies, including the Home Office’s National Fire Safety campaign, the National Fire Chief’s Council and London Fire Brigade.

A free toolkit of resources, available at www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk, is available to help landlords, tenants and anyone with an interest in or responsibility for fire safety at a property to get involved.

The week will also see the launch of a hard-hitting video underlining the powerlessness of tenants and residents to protect themselves from fire if responsible authorities fail to take action over fire safety.

Brand new for this year’s campaign is an interactive mock criminal trial, aimed at providing manufacturers of fire safety products, consultants, contractors, designers, installers and other potential duty holders with an insight into where they may be liable in the event of a fire incident.

Helen Hewitt added: “We encourage individuals and organisations to get involved this year, share our free resources and run their own publicity campaigns and events to support the campaign’s vitally important messages.”

The campaign aims to build on the success of 2018’s Fire Door Safety Week, which reached over 35 million people through PR, social media and events with the message: shut the door on fire and smoke.