Business Fire Safety - Covid-19
Due to ongoing Covid-19 precautions, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service recognise that responsible persons for premises may wish for internal fire doors to be held-open in order to assist in the preventing the spread of the virus; however, this would only be acceptable if the hold-open device was one which is designed to operate and close the doors in the event of a fire alarm, preferably electro-magnetic hold-open devices or Dorgards.
The wedging or pinning back of internal fire doors is unacceptable and must be avoided, as this practice would result in the premises not complying fully with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order 2005 – Articles 8 (General Fire Precautions) and 14 (Means of escape).
The consequences of fire doors being wedged open could result in the loss of a substantial part of the premises due to fire, heat and smoke spreading between areas of the building due to the loss of compartmentation that the fire doors form part of.
All fire safety measures within the building must be tested to ensure that they are in serviceable condition, such as fire alarm systems, and where necessary any issues rectified prior to re-occupation.
The fire risk assessment must also be updated where buildings are used differently due to the covid-19 situation, for example, reflecting within the fire risk assessment that only part of a building is used, or is occupied at different times from those prior to the pandemic.