Fire Door Safety Week attains record number of supporters for 2018 campaign

The award-winning Fire Door Safety Week campaign reached a new high in 2018, gaining support from more than 350 individuals, organisations and businesses while also reaching out to millions through press coverage and social media activity.

The week of sustained activity is run each year by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Fire Door Alliance and the Fire Door Inspection Scheme in partnership with the Home Office’s National Fire Safety Campaign and aims to stamp out the legacy of neglect of fire doors across the UK, while at the same time raising awareness of the crucial role that fire doors play in protecting lives.

This year’s campaign, which ran from 24-30 September, was particularly successful online, where the Fire Door Safety Week website traffic increased by 44% to nearly 30,000 visits. On Twitter, posts sharing vital campaign messages reached over 1.5 million users and the hashtag #FireDoorSafetyWeek achieved 500,000 impressions through impressive user engagement which resulted in more than 550 mentions and 1,000 retweets.

As part of the campaign, a poll of 1,000 UK adults in rented accommodation was conducted to highlight attitudes towards fire safety. The results demonstrated that there’s still much more to do to ensure that standards within the industry are raised.

The shocking responses showed that only a quarter of tenants have been reassured or had discussions with their landlord about fire safety in their building. With so little done to address the concerns of tenants, landlords still have a long way to go to meet their fire safety responsibilities.

In addition, almost three-quarters of flat tenants would ignore the guidance to ‘stay put’ if there was a fire in their building and their particular flat was not affected, indicating a lack of confidence in their building’s ability to stop the spread of fire or smoke.

Support from the media

Supported widely by the media (including Risk Xtra), the campaign has so far resulted in more than 90 national, regional and trade pieces of news coverage including an article on page two of The Times on the first day of the campaign. In addition, 12 radio interviews with campaign spokesperson Hannah Mansell reached a potential audience of 31.7 million through outlets including Sky News Radio.

A series of five powerful films formed part of the week, one of which was a tribute to the victims, survivors and bereaved of the Grenfell Tower blaze. So far, the Grenfell film has been watched over 5,000 times.

Hannah Mansell, head of technical research and insight at the BWF and chair of the Passive Fire Protection Forum, informed Risk Xtra: “This year’s campaign has reached a new high. Gaining our largest number of supporters to date, the campaign has energised backing from the construction supply chain, housing associations, Fire and Rescue Services, campaign groups and members of the public. Even with this year’s reach and engagement, though, it’s clear that our work is not done. It’s easy to see that fire doors remain an area of neglect across the UK, with poorly installed and maintained doors regularly reported to us.”

Mansell concluded: “Over the next 12 months, the BWF will continue to raise awareness of the life-saving role of fire doors and the importance of third party certification to help improve building fire safety as we move into 2019 and begin planning for next September’s campaign.”

*For more information on Fire Door Safety Week visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.com

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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