Categories: Products

How safe are fire doors?


Share this content


Fire safety at student accommodation has featured a lot in the news recently, and it’s a topic that Work Smart Fire Door Inspection discussed in their latest blog.

How safe are the fire doors at your student accommodation?

There’s been a lot about the safety of students in the news lately. Fresh faces are arriving at their new student accommodation for the new term. One thing people don’t ever seem to mention though, is whether fire doors in student accommodation are fit for purpose?

Much of the news coverage has focused on Covid-19 and the effects of being locked down. However, we would like to open a discussion about the safety of the buildings that students are living in.

Do student accommodation providers take fire safety seriously enough?

According to a recent study by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), there are some 660,000 students living in PBSA during term time. These are split almost evenly between university residences and private sector purpose built student accommodation (PBSA).

These are great places for students to live, especially in their first year. It’s easy to meet people. They have all the necessary facilities to hand. And most importantly, accommodation managers are visible and easy to contact.

There is always a great deal of responsibility in providing living accommodation to people, no matter who they are or the type of accommodation.

However, in this situation, where there may be hundreds of students living in one building, with dozens of kitchens, hundreds of appliances and people who may not be fire risk aware, fulfilling that responsibility is very complex.

student accommodation

Fire Door Inspections in Student Accommodation

We have inspected fire resistant doors in 3 PBSAs in Scotland over the last couple of months. Thankfully, we have found it really encouraging to be liaising with several of these PBSAs.

However, what we have discovered has been mixed. Most fire doors at student accommodations we have inspected have needed attention of some sort. There have even been one or two that would be described as critically flawed.

The most alarming (but not surprising) thing we found are doors that have been incorrectly installed or modified. This includes FD30 fire doors fitted where an FD60 fire door had been specified.

This means someone has fitted a fire door that can only last for 30 minutes in place of one that can last for 60 minutes.

Misinformation and confusion could cost the lives of students or fire fighters if there was to be a blaze.

student accommodation

Book a Fire Door Inspection at your Student Accommodation

We need to take Fire doors seriously. This is especially true in the world of student accommodation. Students have a right to live in a safe environment. Landlords and accommodation providers have a duty of care to ensure fire doors are up to standard.

We hope others can now start to follow the example of the providers we have been in contact with recently.

These doors are safety critical, life saving devices – essential components of your fire safety strategy. If they fail, then so does the strategy.

Here’s a few basic things you can do to help you decide if your fire doors need attention –

  • NEVER wedge or block a fire door open.
  • Does your door close completely, unaided, even when only opened slightly.
  • Are the gaps around the door the right size? Use a £1 coin – it’s about 3mm thick, the perfect size for the gap.
  • Are the fire & smoke seals (strips around the door or frame) in good condition?

For more information on fire door safety you can visit the Work Smart Fire Door Inspection website here:

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox