A while back, I wrote a post about the requirement for fire doors to be self-closing, and I referenced a fire at the Rosepark Care Home in Uddington, Scotland. The fire occurred in 2004, but the results of the investigation are being reported now. I’ve been collecting news articles related to fire and egress doors on www.firedoorguide.com, and there are several articles there about the Rosepark fire.
Fourteen elderly residents of the nursing home died in the fire, many because the fire doors to their rooms had been propped open or the door closers disabled at the request of the residents or their families. We all know that fire doors play an important part in protecting building occupants during a fire, but this fire clearly illustrates the value of code-compliant fire doors.
The most recent reports from the investigation describe the results of a reconstruction of the fire:
“Carrying out tests in a mock-up of the corridor where the fire started, they found that in a bedroom which had its door closed just yards from the epicentre of the blaze, the maximum temperature at ceiling height was 30°C, compared to 540˚C in the bedroom opposite where the door was left open. The temperatures peaked within six minutes of the fire igniting, believed to have been sparked by a malfunction in a fuse box in the corridor.”
540 degrees Celsius = 1004 degrees Fahrenheit. 6 minutes. Fire door assembly inspections will save lives.
Here are links to some of the articles about this investigation and the role of fire doors:
Photo Credit: Evening Times