Fire safety is an issue that every single business with physical premises will need to take care of. An important part of that process lies in choosing the right fire exit doors, but where do you start?
There are a number of different considerations that you’ll need to account for, from regulatory requirements to security. Let’s explore some of those in a bit more detail.
You don’t just want to pick the fire door that looks the nicest – you need to choose a certified option from somewhere like LBS Group that meets any relevant regulatory requirements.
Fire safety regulations are typically quite standardised, but it’s still important to check whether there are any industry-specific regulations that you need to look out for.
If you have any doubt about the specific regulations that cover your industry, it’s definitely worth reaching out to a fire safety expert to seek further advice.
Fire doors are designed to mitigate the risk of, you guessed it, fire. However, exactly how fire poses a risk can change in different environments, depending on the inhabitants of the building, other fire exits, and a range of other considerations.
To make sure that your fire door is actually mitigating risks rather than simply ticking boxes, you need to carry out an in-depth fire risk assessment. There are plenty of guidelines online, or you can get a specialist risk assessor to do it for you.
Panic bars vs Emergency pads
In premises where panic is likely in the event of a fire emergency, it’s generally necessary that you have panic bars. This would most often apply to large offices, schools, and other similar organisations.
If, however, it’s demonstrable that panic is not a likely outcome of a fire emergency, then you can use different kinds of emergency opening mechanisms, such as emergency pads. It’s important that you check which one is a regulatory requirement for your specific business, so you can stay on the right side of the law.
You’ll also need to think about any security-related concerns you might have around the door. If the door is on a building that contains expensive stock or equipment, for example, you’ll likely require additional safety measures compared to a door on a barn.
Fire doors come in different strength ratings, and you’ll want to think carefully about which would be most appropriate for you. If your risk assessment is comprehensive in its scope, it should also contain pointers in this direction.
Choosing the right fire exit door for your company shouldn’t be a process that you take lightly. Getting it wrong could have catastrophic effects, potentially even leading to the loss of life.
If you have any doubts over which option to go for, it’s important that you seek advice from a specialist service. As with most other safety-related issues, this isn’t a process that should be undertaken by laypeople – there’s simply too much at stake should you get it wrong.