15 Interesting Facts and Figures About Fire Doors and Fire Safety
Fire protection is an integral part of any building’s makeup, not only for the safety of the people inside but also the building itself and any surrounding structures. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts and figures about fire doors and fire safety.
• Glass fire doors can typically withstand temperature of up to 870 degrees Celsius. This is more than three times the amount of standard glass doors or windows.
• Fire damage makes up a huge percentage of insurance claims across the world. In 2014, there were around 1 billion pounds paid out for fire-related property insurance claims in the UK alone.
• Around 14% of people say that, in the event of a fire, they would not know what do to and would only follow the flow of people.
• Fire doors are the first line of defence against a fire in a building.
• The first instance of a governing body putting forward legislature for fire protection was in the 12th century when the Major of London imposed that houses in the city were to be built of stone. Thatched roofs were no longer permitted, and shared walls were to be of minimum height and thickness – regulations that laid the base for modern fire safety legislature.
• After the Great London Fire in 1666, the city adopted its first building regulations requiring stone and brick houses to fire-resisting party wall separations
• Smoke inhalation is the major cause of death and injury in a fire situation and is a greater threat to people than the fire itself. Luckily, fire doors ‘compartmentalise’ smoke much in the same way they do flame.
• All elements of a fire door must be fire-rated. This includes everything from locks and hinges to latches and seals.
• All fire doors must be fitted with an automatic closing device that can self-close in the event of a fire.
• It is illegal to prop or wedge open a fire door.
• Two major components of fire doors are: aluminium, which has a melting point of 660 degrees Celsius; and steel, which has a critical point of 530 degrees Celsius.
• Fire doors are the most important passive fire protection system in a building – they are used mainly to ‘compartmentalise’ fire to keep it spreading throughout a building.
• Heritage-listed doors can be rated for fire resistance despite being fragile and valuable.
• Engineering for fire protection can be traced back as far as Ancient Rome, the first major instance being when Emperor Nero reinforced the city walls after a devastating fire broke out. This was also the first instance of the mass implementation of a passive fire system.
• Prior to 1990, many fire doors in Australia were constructed using asbestos (a known health hazard). You can now check to see if your door contains asbestos by sending a sample of its core to certified testing facilities.