Reply To: Fire doors in schools

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#13003
John WilsonJohn Wilson
Participant
  • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

After visiting the school and discussing with my Chief, we have agreed on the following for the one school that has requested so far. I suspect we will do similar with our other schools if they make a request.  Feel free to use or amend if you feel it will help you.

The Fire Chief and I have discussed your request to wedge open multiple fire doors within the school in an effort to reduce contact surfaces to help reduce the potential for transmission of Covid-19. The doors can essentially be grouped into 3 classifications: doors to the classrooms & offices, doors in horizontal exits (within corridor, same floor level) and doors in stairwell separations. Under the provisions of the Ontario Fire Code, Clause 2.2.3.4.(3)(b) we are prepared to approve the following:

Classroom and office doors may be wedged open any time the space is occupied. It shall be the responsibility of the staff member in charge of the specific area to ensure the door is closed if the space is to be left unoccupied. Doors to hazardous areas such as the auto shop, wood shop, janitor’s closets, etc. are not to be wedged open at any time.

Corridor doors may be wedged open during regular school hours. In the event of the fire alarm sounding, it shall be the responsibility of the first staff member through the doorway to remove the wedges allowing the doors to close. It shall be the responsibility of the sweep team to ensure these doors are closed.

Stairwell doors have two different possible scenarios. If class times are staggered throughout the day, these doors shall be kept closed at all times except when in use. If classes are kept with conventional schedule of all classes with the same start/end time, it is approved to wedge the stairwell doors open for these short class change times and during the lunch break. Any time the stairwell doors are wedged open, one staff member shall be assigned to each stairwell to ensure that the doors are closed upon the fire alarm sounding or at the end of the designated timeframe. This duty of ensuring the stairwell doors are closed shall take priority over any other task except their own personal safety.

The Fire Safety Plan shall be updated to reflect the above items and all staff members shall be advised of their specific duties and a record shall be kept of the staff member’s acknowledgement of said duties.

Perth Fire Services reserves the right to amend or revoke this approval at any time.