Friday 15 March 2024

Sharp increase in Hospital Fires highlights the importance of Compliant Fire Door Specification and Inspections

New figures from NHS Digital[1] show there were a shocking 1,372 fires recorded by NHS trusts in 2022/23. This was a significant increase of over 18% from the previous year, and the equivalent of almost four fires a day across the NHS.

In response to this news, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is emphasising the utmost importance of correct fire door specification, installation, and ongoing maintenance with inspections.

Brian Sofley, Managing Director of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland Door Group, explains:
“The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires healthcare organisations undertake risk assessments to identify the general fire precautions needed to safeguard occupants in case of fire, including their safe means of escape. 
“Fire doors are one of the most important safety features in a building, and their correct specification and installation are vital to ensure a complaint solution and protect lives. But the responsibility doesn’t stop there - regular inspections are essential to fully ensure health and safety measures are met. 
“Healthcare buildings can present highly specific requirements for fire doorsets, with particularly varied legislation and building regulations surrounding fire doors in hospitals. But with fire protection systems failing time and time again, more needs to be done.”
BIM-enabled door specification

To aid compliant fire door specification in hospitals, ASSA ABLOY’s Openings Studio™ BIM application integrates with design software to create and visualise openings for complete door, frame and hardware schedules and specifications.

This enables seamless extraction of door design intent and all relevant interfaces to assist the development of complete door requirements that meet building regulations. Product information, performance data and budget information are captured within the BIM design environment.

Through real time, collaborative working, these designs can be validated for compliance, functional performance, and aesthetics. They are presented as 3D views that can be fully re-integrated into the overall project design.

With linked internal systems, ASSA ABLOY use this final schedule of information to manufacture the complete doorset solution including the leaf, frame, and all specified hardware.

The Openings Studio™ mobile app can also directly access this data for use during the door installation process, ensuring full validity of the finished product prior to project completion.

The app also offers an easy to use ‘check box’ system to carry out and capture detailed inspections based on the specific details of each door included in the schedule.

This report validates if a door has remained compliant, or identifies what elements need to be corrected or replaced to return the product to the standard required, providing full traceability and ownership of all changes at all stages.

Fire door inspection schedules

As part of its commitment to fire door safety in hospitals, Door Group, a unit of ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, also provides fully comprehensive inspections which can be carried out every three, four, six or 12 months to suit specific requirements.

Following inspections, detailed reports are provided containing advice and recommendations on necessary improvements, with the knowledge that identifying any potential issues that could impact safety and product performance can be lifesaving.

If any issues do occur, a tailored repair proposal is issued to include anything from replacement doors to a regular maintenance program. Door Group inspectors are BRE-certified and will ensure that all fire doors inspected meet all necessary standards and regulations.

Brian adds:
“These new figures are extremely concerning - hospitals should be a safe and secure environment for staff and patients, and concerns around fire safety should not have to cross their minds.

“We are committed to helping hospitals and other healthcare organisations across the UK ensure fire protection across their estates. From door specification and installation to regular and thorough inspections, we can ensure the ongoing compliance and performance of fire doorsets to improve overall fire safety within the sector.”
For more information on Fire Doors from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, please visit:

To learn about fire door inspections from Door Group, go to:

[1] - (ERIC 2022/23 - Report V2, tab 6)

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