New research has revealed that commercial buildings are more likely to be breaking fire door safety regulations and putting people at risk.

IronmongeryDirect’s survey of 860 trade professionals, conducted ahead of Fire Door Safety Week, which is taking place until 2 October, revealed that over the past few years 93% of tradespeople have spotted a fire door being propped open illegally with a doorstop when they have been working on a commercial or public building.

Commercial buildings containing small or medium sized businesses are the worst offenders with 72% likely to prop doors open illegally, followed by commercial buildings housing large businesses (64%) and public buildings (42%). Tradespeople are also more likely to witness this offence in older, traditional buildings (56%) than in newbuilds (15%).

When respondents were asked to reveal the most common faults they found when checking or maintaining fire doors, 73% said the biggest problem was that many did not have intumescent seals, which are vital for the fire door’s performance.

In light of these findings, IronmongeryDirect has created a fire door safety checklist to make it easy for people to spot a dodgy fire door and check that it is in full working order. The checklist covers all of the essential components that are required to make a fire door fully operational and can easily be taken on the job by tradespeople who have been tasked with installing or maintaining a fire door.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “Fire safety is clearly still a significant problem concerning commercial and public buildings in the UK so having robust safety procedures in place is extremely important to ensure that building occupants and users are safe.

“Fire doors play a crucial part in the fire protection of every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building but as our research shows, more needs to be done to ensure they are installed and maintained properly to comply with fire regulations and provide the utmost protection.”

To download the fire door safety checklist and for advice on choosing the right fire door hardware please visit the IronmongeryDirect website.