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Inspection of fire exit break glass bolts

paul woods

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I've been audited and a corrective action has been for me to arrange for weekly inspection of all glass-break bolts on my emergency/fire doors.... Apparently it's a British Standard to do so but the guy couldn't tell me which one..... Seems overkill and surely we'd use a risk-assessment approach on setting schedules: anyone any the wiser please?


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It would form part of weekly means of escape walkarounds, there isn't actually much to check on a Redlam or Cooper Bolt, just signage, hammer presence and if the glass tube or Ceramtube is intact and not replaced by a bit of wood. As with any final exit the mechanism should be checked for free movement by removing the tube to see if the bolt springs back and the door opens easily (e.g. not swollen).

They are unlikely to be mentioned in any British Standard as they are 1960's technology and are usually a legacy item in existing buildings rather than something newly installed. BS9999 does detail that "all escape routes should be inspected frequently and, in respect of buildings open to the public, on each occasion prior to the admittance of the public. " but does not define frequent.

It has been tradition for formal means of escape inspections to be no less than weekly, but as always exact frequencies is down to risk assessment and mitigation as to why it doesn't follow traditional benchmarks but is still suitable and sufficient.

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