Firefighters have issued safety warnings after discovering Fire doors propped open at a Fire in a flat which is believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were called to the Fire at a block of flats in Baker Street, Marylebone.
The Brigade’s Fire investigators believe the Fire was accidental and was caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials. Some Fire doors inside the block had also been wedged opened which meant smoke had travelled through the property.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Smoking vastly increases the risk of having a fire in your home.
“We’d rather you didn’t smoke at all, but if you are a smoker it’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it.”
“If you don’t you are at risk of starting a Fire that could destroy not only your home but your life and the lives of your loved ones.”
“We also found a number of Fire doors wedged open at this property which is unfortunately something our crews see all too often.”
“Fire doors can play a life saving role, especially in residential buildings as they stop Fires from spreading.”
“It is concerning that the lives of the public and our firefighters are still being put at risk by poorly maintained Fire doors and people acting irresponsibly by removing self closers, keeping doors wedged open or even in some cases replacing them."
Landlords and tenants should be reminded about the crucial role played by Fire safety doors after new statistics reveal the shocking extent to which this potentially life saving piece of engineering is being misused.
Two of the major concerns raised regularly by Fire safety officers when they visit high rise buildings are residents who replace vital Fire doors at the entrance to their properties with doors that don’t meet the required safety standards and people who removing the self-closing mechanism on their Fire doors to prevent themselves from getting accidentally locked out.
Why are Fire doors so important?
- they are specifically designed to withstand fire for up to 30 minutes
- they are a legal requirement for Flats which open onto communal areas shared with other tenants. This is to make sure crucial escape routes are protected if a Fire breaks out.
- they are designed to automatically close behind you in the event of Fire, holding flames back and stopping the spread of the Fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors and other flats in the block.
If you live in a purpose built block of flats and are unsure whether your flat front door or doors, which open onto communal areas meet the correct Fire door safety standards, contact your Landlord. Your Landlord should have a Fire Safety Assessment for the communal area of you London block of Flats.
Part of a Fire Safety Risk Assessment is a Fire Safety Management Plan – Significant Findings, in this document it should list any Fire Door deficiencies. For example; doors wedged open; ineffective self-closers; intumescent strips and cold smoke seals damaged or missing; non Fire Resisting glazing and tell you what you need to do to put the deficiencies right.
If you need a Fire Safety Risk Assessment for your purpose built block of Flats then contact London Fire Risk Assessments, they are members of the Institution of Fire Engineers and are completely independent and not affiliated to any London Fire Protection Service providing Fire Safety Equipment. You can be assured that their advice is completely unbiased and reliable, contact their friendly team now on 01689 890879 or click here to get in touch.
Property owners in London should always remember the crucial role of fire safety doors and they should be maintained properly so that they can be used as escape routes during fire breaks. It is used to hold flames and stop the spread of fire in other areas of the flat. Any deficiencies can lead to major fire disasters.
Fire doors, which are used as crucial escape routes during fire breaks can become the cause of disaster if not maintained properly. A recent flat in London, Marylebone caught fire because of a discarded cigarette and the improper fire doors helped in spreading of smoke in the building.