Fire Safety - Openings
Certain elements of a building can contribute greatly to the slowing down or prevention of a fire spreading from one area to another, such as brick walls, fire doors, fire resistant glass etc. However, if there are gaps for some reason in this barrier then a fire can easily get through, meaning that gaps or openings in the barrier create a weakness that a fire will exploit to spread through the building.
These openings can be present for varying reasons. It could be that they have always been there as a result of a poor design or sub-standard work when it was built. The openings may also be caused as a result of the actions of others, such as propping open a fire door and then forgetting about it.
It could be the case that construction or renovation work taking place on the structure has led to the creation of temporary holes and gaps, for example creating the space for a new doorway to be put in. If working on multiple surfaces/rooms it is important not to leave openings in each until the end of the work and then filling them all in one go as this will mean there is a very real risk of any fire that starts causing widespread devastation as it can sweep through the building largely unhindered. The dangers from fire when it comes to construction work means that construction health and safety courses including the Site Management Safety Training Scheme and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate courses encompass fire safety on a construction site as a key component of the syllabus.