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Fire Research Notes


Langdon-Thomas, G.J., 1963. DOORS AND MEANS OF ESCAPE. Fire Research Notes 504


Doors of suitable construction may be said to be the most important elements in a building for the safety of life, should fire occur in a building. Even if the doors are of adequate fire resistance and strategically sited they are of no value during the escape period if they are left open. Codes of Practice for fire precautions in buildings, either published or in preparation for means of escape, depend upon the fire doors as an integral part of the escape plan. Without such doors escape from fire from any building other than a small single storey building becomes impracticable. The author has from time to time taken the opportunity to visit a number of recently completed blocks of flats, offices and large shops with the object of endeavouring to obtain some idea as to whether or not doors, when fitted for fire safety purposes, are actually shut and capable of performing their design function. Doors for the protection of openings in walls provided for the vertical sub-division of a building are outside the scope of this paper. Such doors have little or no function in relation to normal means of escape.

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