Safety campaigners stress life-saving role of fire doors in 2019 awareness week

Fire door safety campaigners are stressing the life-saving role that fire doors play as part of this year’s Fire Door Safety Week (23-29 September), which is being run by the British Woodworking Federation. Now in its seventh year, the awareness week 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 people when they’re asleep, particularly so 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 among 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, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “We all need to feel protected, and especially so when we’re asleep. Fire doors play a vital role as the first line of defence against fire and smoke, containing fire spread while buildings are evacuated. They must be properly installed and maintained. Good fire safety practice must be shared and followed. That’s why we continue to raise awareness every year through Fire Door Safety Week.”

Hewitt added: “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 Chiefs’ Council and the London Fire Brigade.

A free toolkit of resources, available at www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk, is available to help anyone with an interest in (or responsibility) for fire safety to become involved.

Fire Door Safety 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.

Hewitt concluded: “We encourage individuals and organisations to become 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’.

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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