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BES Services tackle fire door maintenance

by Marius Fourie | 14 February 2017

BES Services tackle fire door maintenance

Correct fire door fitting and maintenance improves safety

Since the introduction of fire safety laws over ten years ago, fire safety is a legal necessity, and most commercial properties in the UK are fitted with compliant fire doors.
Despite progress in raising awareness and improving standards, there have been fatal incidents, where inadequate or poorly fitted doors have contributed to the outcome. In one tragic case, the inquest ruled that death could have been avoided (1), if a self-closing fire door had not become stuck on the floor, preventing it from closing.
Correct fitting is critical to ensure that fire doors remain compliant and meet the appropriate standards. Tests to certify doors to a declared fire resistance period (typically 30 or 60 minutes) become redundant, if not fitted properly or maintained over years of wear and tear.
The consequences for safety are frighteningly obvious – one incident highlighted where blocked exits and door faults trapped hotel residents (2) and there are plenty of video examples where door-sets fail to impede fire (3) as planned.
The financial implications for the building manager and owner are significant with hefty fines for fault or negligence. Property management companies are held to account in cases where the council carry out inspections, such as Kier Stoke (4). However, the laws and standards can be confusing – and EU policy makers are urged to review them for the hotel and tourism industry (5). Alarmingly, statistics from Fire Door Safety Week (6) indicate that 45% of building managers do not know how to spot a problem with their fire doors.

Maintaining fire door safety

The person responsible for fire safety must ensure there is an adequate system in place for keeping doors maintained and in working order. When outsourcing to a third party, it is imperative to engage certified fire door installers and maintenance providers, so that work is carried out to a competent standard.
BES Services is tackling the challenge since becoming certified under the Exova BM TRADA Maintenance scheme (7). To meet the rigorous certification, BES Services is audited twice a year to verify their documentation and standards.
BES Services work with property owners and building managers on a routine basis, rather than relying on fire safety inspections to prompt action and corrective works. For their clients, BES Services undertakes a three-step programme of assessment, recommendation, and implementation.
The focus is on raising awareness for facilities and building managers to fully understand their legal responsibilities and take the first step to engaging a qualified assessor. One of the key goals of the Exova BM Trada maintenance scheme is to maximise the life of the fire doors. Replacement fire doors can be very costly for commercial property owners, hence the shift towards fire door maintenance as an alternative.

How BES Services can help with compliance and maintenance

BES Services offers an end to end service to assist building managers to comply with legal duties and responsibilities. BES Services report their assessment findings and give repair or maintenance recommendations under the proviso that repairs will be carried out in accordance with Exova BM Trada Approved Repair Techniques. The next step is to consider the implementation options.
Having worked with clients like Knight Frank and JLL on building maintenance, BES Services can apply their expertise in fire door standards on your commercial property sites.
It is a positive step for building developers and service contractors to collaborate to improve fire safety in the UK.


Marius Fourie

Marius Fourie has been a Director of BES Services Ltd since 2010, and is a certified Exova BM Trada fire door maintainer.