Fire doors: care and maintenance


Richard Kowalski

The supplying and installation of a fire-rated door assembly is just the beginning of a fire door’s journey. Like a gas boiler or a car, servicing, care and maintenance are essential to ensure the item remains safe and fit for purpose.

Fire-rated door assemblies are no different and, if not maintained correctly, could cost lives. If properly looked after however, the product will last for a long time and may save a life one day. Think about that before reading on. A door assembly is a life-saving product: why wouldn’t you look after it?

To assist in the care and maintenance, many door suppliers provide operation and maintenance manuals as standard and without specifically being requested. However, these are often not kept in a safe place, or kept at all to enable people to refer to them. In some cases – and this may shock some of you, but not others – fire doors are not inspected or maintained at all. This is not only bad practice, but dangerous.

Recently, I had a client contact me and ask for a copy of the O&Ms (operation and maintenance manuals) four years after the product was supplied. This is concerning and makes you wonder what they have been doing for the last four years in terms of maintenance of the product. It is only now, after recent tragedies, that more people are beginning to routinely inspect and maintain fire doors.

The O&Ms are full of all the information that is needed for maintaining and looking after your fire doors. This goes from how to clean the door all the way to including copies of the fire certification and contact details for parts.

One of the things within these which is asked about quite often is: at what intervals should maintenance be done? At Stairways Midlands we recommend the following:

  • Light usage (home or apartment doors) – recommended inspection every 12 months
  • Medium usage (offices) – recommended inspection every six months
  • High usage (commercial, hospital, communal area doors) – recommended inspection every three months.

People may think that the inspection of a high-usage door every three months is excessive. However, doors that are subjected to high usage are more likely to be damaged or have parts wear out. It is therefore critical that these doors are inspected regularly to ensure they function correctly when they need to.

If maintaining a door and you are unsure, always speak to the door supplier. If you do not have the O&Ms, the doors should be labelled with the door manufacturer, so contact them and ask for advice.

Look after your doors and they will look after you one day.

Did you know that Stairways Midlands can assist in recording your O&M information digitally by inserting a microchip into the door which saves all this information in one easy-to-locate place? Contact Stairways today to find out more about the new PinPoint system.

Richard Kowalski


Author: Stairways

Stairways, founded in 1989, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft production capacity. Stairways goal is to raise their profile and brand awareness to become known throughout the industry as the UK’s leading staircase and door solution provider.

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As a highly reputable firm within the industry, Stairways are dedicated to meeting their client’s product and application requirements. All materials used are manufactured to the highest quality and meet the relevant standards achieving ISO9001, FSC®, and various product certifications, whilst their staircases and door solutions are manufactured with compliance to UK building regulations & legislative standards in mind. Using the knowledge, passion, and experience acquired across all team members over the past thirty years, Stairways aim to continue to be the best in what they do.


Stairways are continuously looking for opportunities to improve and expand their service offering; this includes the investment in new machinery to further enhance and innovate the manufacturing process, with the aim to shorten lead times and increase overall in-house capacity. The changes Stairways employ are always focused upon improving the customer experience, to ensure their process remains as efficient as possible from start to finish.


Privately owned and managed since it was founded in 1989, Stairways has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Starting as a small staircase manufacturer, Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft of bespoke and mass production capacity.