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Fire doors do not work if they are wedged open. Some have automatic closers on them but most are a normal, strong door with the target time of 30 minutes of protection against a fire. They should seal correctly and be checked to ensure they comply with local regulations. If you do have fire doors they need to be kept closed at all times and not held open with a door stop.

If you have to open a door, look around the door for smoke or staining and touch the door carefully by using the back of your hand on door to check temperature before opening it. Touch the door handle in the same way to see if there is any heat, but be careful with handles as they could transfer heat and burn your hand. If the door is hot, do not open it as the added air can fuel the fire. If a door is hot and someone is on the other side, you have to make a decision as to whether it is safe to enter.

If you do open the door, stand back as air will pass and could feed the fire. Crouch down with your foot to the base of the door and slowly look around. Smoke rises, so when you are low down you can see under the smoke to how bad the situation is. Use the door as a shield and keep low as the air is easier to breathe down low. Some buildings have a stay-put policy because this may be deemed safer than leaving the building.

If you can see that a fire door is faulty, you must report any problems and have them repaired as soon as possible.