Fire doors provide an exit in case of emergency, but they also protect escape routes, keeping them clear of fire or smoke. Regular inspections ensure that they're in proper working order if and when they're needed. Conduct fire door inspections monthly and keep records of inspections and repairs for fire safety inspectors. Regulations vary from state to state, but there are some constants that will help you prepare. Diligent inspections protect you as well as everyone working in the area, and a fire door inspection checklist helps you plan.
Fire doors have to be accessible to be effective, as do the halls or stairways leading to them. Doors that are blocked by large, heavy objects can lead to immediate failure during an official fire safety inspection. Even the presence of small, movable objects is a violation. Fire doors must be kept clear and accessible at all times, and this applies to the exterior as well as the interior. Fire doors should be able to be easily opened from the inside and should not require a key or mechanism.
Signs & Illumination
An EXIT sign should be located above the fire safety door and should be illuminated. Fire doors should also be marked with signs indicating that the fire door should be kept closed. In addition, corridors and exits need to be illuminated so that anyone who needs to exit can see well enough to do so. Labels indicating the rating and use of fire doors should not be removed and must be legible.
Fire doors need to be kept closed because they serve to contain smoke and keep fires from spreading into escape routes. Doors that are not kept closed need to be fitted with self-closing mechanisms that automatically shut the door if the fire alarm sounds. Inspect the area around the fire safety door to ensure that nothing blocks it or prevents easy opening and closing.
Hardware & Door Clearance
Inspect your fire doors hinges, latches and seals to ensure that they're intact. Broken seals can allow smoke to leak through around the door. When opened or closed, the door should not rub against the frame or against other doors, carpeting or flooring. In the case of double doors, the doors must close in the order that allows them to latch securely.