Will your standard doors that are found in most homes protect you? The answer is Yes! (for a limited amount of time)
How will they help you?
In most workplaces, fire doors play an integral part in stopping fire and smoke spread. Fire doors are different from most conventional doors that are found within homes, you will only usually find fire doors in places like apartment blocks and houses of multiple occupancies.
Standard doors will not protect to the same level as a fire door. They will still offer a reasonable level of protection for an amount of time that should allow the occupants to escape the building if required. Closing doors as part of your normal or nighttime routine, will mean that should a fire occur, the majority will be contained to one room for an amount of time (around 10-15 minutes normally). Unlike fire doors, standard doors don’t have strips or seals to stop the smoke escaping. As stupid as this may sound, this could actually help you! By allowing a small amount of smoke to escape the room at the edges of the door, you can be alerted to the risk by seeing/smelling the smoke or by the smoke alarm activating.
The fact that you have closed the door should give you enough time to escape via your normal exit routes, in a relatively clean environment.
As part of your routine, we will always advise turning off electrics etc to minimise the chances of fire starting, but should the worst happen, each closed door between you and the fire, will offer you another level of protection.
If you were ever to be in the position of being above ground and trapped in a room because there is smoke or fire in the hallway (this is far less likely to happen if you close doors as we’ve said), then consider whether you’d have ways to call the Fire Service from that room as early as possible, close the door to the room and open a window for fresh air & to alert your neighbours to your situation. Again, the door will offer an amount of protection to you whilst the Fire Service make their way to you. It is hoped that by doing this, you hopefully never need to lower yourself out of windows to escape.
Here is a brilliant video to show you the difference between a room that had the door open compare to a closed door in the same fire.
What to do next?
Closing doors, should form part of your escape plan for your house, we have given some quick advice and a link to a government document on our blog which can be found here: https://1cstc.co.uk/home-escape-plan/
If you feel that this information could help someone you know, please share this with them. If you have any questions or there are any topics that you’d like us to cover, please do get in touch with us on [email protected] and we will look to help you.