Fire Door Safety Week 2016

A door’s a door’s a door, right? No, a fire door is an engineered safety device.

Fire doors are a crucial part of the passive fire protection of every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.  They save lives and property.

Fire doors are often the first line of defense in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. However, they remain a significant area of neglect, often the first thing to be downgraded on a specification and mismanaged throughout their service life, propped open, damaged and badly maintained. UK based, BWF, created Fire Door Safety Week:
  • To raise awareness of the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
  • To encourage building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors and to report those that aren’t satisfactory.
  • To link together the initiatives of many organisations with common interests in the fire door and passive fire protection industries.
  • To engage and educate people, helping the whole building industry and every property owner to understand the correct specification, supply, installation, operation, inspection and maintenance of fire doors.

For updates, resources and events visit,, follow Fire Door Safety Week on Twitter, and search for tweets with hashtag, #firedoorsafetyweek.

Fire Door Resources from

Risk Assessment Workshop [FREE COURSE]

This workshop will enable you to conduct a thorough fire risk assessment and create a plan to mitigate risks. This is the companion course to Aaron Johnson's book, Risk Assessment Guide for Aviation Facilities. This course is your complete guide to understanding risk, conducting a risk assessment, and applying assessment findings to mitigate fire loss.

Course objectives:
  1. Define the meaning of 'risk'.
  2. Understand the purpose, importance, and components of a risk assessment.
  3. Apply the risk assessment process to your own facility.

The course content is built specifically for fire inspectors, code officials, life safety consultants, facility managers, and airport operators.

This course is FREE and includes many resources, templates, and downloads.

Fire Protection for Engine Test Facilities

Long before an aircraft takes flight, each component undergoes a rigorous barrage of tests. Aircraft engines must be tested to ensure that they meet the design goals, can withstand set tolerances, and are in accordance with FAA airworthiness standards.  These engine tests take place at a designated engine test facility within an engine test stand or cell (the enclosed space where a test engine is installed) .

Engine Test Cell - MDS

NFPA 423, Standard for Construction and Protection of Aircraft Engine Test Facilities outlines the fire protection features that must be in place to adequately protect these expensive assets.  An engine test facility is defined as any "integrated system that includes a building(s), a structure(s), and services used to test aircraft engines within a test cell or on a test stand."  

NFPA 423 provides four components for adequate fire protection of engine test facilities.

1. Portable Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are required to be provided throughout the facility and located outside of the engine test area.  The primary hazard to be accounted for is the fuel and other flammable liquids that are integral to the engine testing and operation process. Extinguisher selection in the engine test areas should be appropriate for a Class B, Extra Hazard location.  Proper selection of these fire extinguishers is outlined in NFPA 10, chapter 5.

2. Fire Alarm and Communications Systems

A fire alarm system is required and must be installed in accordance with section 9.6 and section 40.3.4 of NFPA 101, and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

*Authors Note: it is unclear from NFPA 423:6.1.6 whether the intent is to require fire alarm systems at all engine test facilities or in only those test facilities that meet the occupant load factors of NFPA 101:  This question has been submitted to the NFPA.  When an answer is received, it will be posted in the comments section below this post. How would you interpret this section?

3. Fixed Fire Protection Systems

Each engine test cell area must have its own fixed fire protection system.  NFPA 423 allows the use of carbon dioxide, gaseous agents, dry chemical, foam, or water spray systems.  However, due to the sensitive nature of the engine components, it is advisable to utilize a clean agent system (i.e., Halotron).  These systems do not leave any residue, or create any additional mess when activated, and will prevent additional down-time.

Clean agent systems are required to be designed, installed, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing SystemsEach system must have a 100% agent reserve supply available for immediate manual discharge.  A system activation must also close all fuel supply valves to the engine and activate the fire alarm.

4. Personnel Training

All personnel that will be involved with engine testing operations or working within the facility are required to receive regular fire safety training. All personnel are to be trained on the proper operation of all types of fire extinguishers throughout the facility. 

Select personnel, on each operational shift, are be trained in the operation and activation of the fixed fire protection systems.  These personnel should have a clear understanding of the features of the system, activation procedures, and the area it protects.  Key personnel should be designated the responsibility for the inspection and maintenance of the fixed fire suppression system.

Click the picture for actual engine test video