Just because you install a door doesn’t mean you can leave it alone and hope for the best. Besides the annual inspections or any safety sign-offs when it’s installed, owners also are encouraged to follow other guidelines.
Don’t prop them open.
Don’t block it or lock it.
Don’t hang onto old doors.
While it can be convenient to put a wedge in to keep a fire door open to create an easy exit or short-cut or maybe bring in a breeze if it leads to the outdoors, an open door can defeat the fire-blocking capabilities if there is a fire on either side. People rushing in or out likely aren’t going to remember to close it behind them either. There is an asterisk here though – some companies do have extra fire doors that typically remain open between departments during the normal course of a day, but they will automatically close in the event of an emergency. However, putting a wedge in to prop these open can disable this feature and prevent this important safety feature.
Businesses concerned about people sneaking in or sneaking out without using the main doors may consider blocking or chaining the fire doors for security reasons. Actions like this can lead to injuries or even loss of life if an emergency takes place and people need to evacuate quickly. Finding the doors blocked can be a significant safety hazard and cause further panic for an already scared crowd.
The overall fire resistance and rating of a fire door could deteriorate over time, so you may not get the same protection you would with a newer door. Plus, deliberately not replacing one for years could show negligence on your part if an emergency does occur and attorneys or insurance companies ask about your repair schedule. Your customers, and your insurance company, will likely appreciate it if you’re pro-active in making sure all your doors and related safety equipment are all up to date.