Fire Door Key Facts
What are Fire Doors?
The purpose of a fire door is to slow down the spread of fire, smoke and toxic gases whilst keeping the vital means of escape clear. They only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and maintained correctly, and of course, closed when a fire breaks out.
Why are Fire Doors important?
All of us who use or occupy any building have a right to expect that we will be safely protected should a fire break out; Sadly, this is not the case. Something may fail within the fabric of the building and the fire safety devices or the passive fire protection has been overlooked. This can result in tragedy causing serious injury, life-long conditions and death.
Fire doors are part of a buildings passive fire protection system, an essential requirement for ALL public buildings, offices, multi- occupied residential buildings and factories.
How often should Fire Doors be inspected?
Periodic checks should be carried out at least once every six months. Newly occupied buildings may require more frequent checks in the first year of use.
- Light Use Doors (Home or Apartments) should be inspected every 12 months
- Medium Use Doors (Offices) should be inspected every 6 months
- High/ Heavy Use Doors (Commercial, Hospital) should be inspected every 3 months
What are the risks of neglecting Fire Doors?
Manufacturing, installing or maintaining fire doors incorrectly can result in 5 main risks:
- Danger to occupiers / users of the building and possible loss of life
- Danger to the emergency services when responding to a fire
- The ‘Responsible Person’ can be prosecuted with an unlimited fine or imprisonment
- Irreparable damage to property, possessions and belongings
- Poor reputation
Does a Fire Door have to have intumescent seals fitted?
For a door to work effectively, the door leaf must be free to move within the frame. In order to do this, there must a perimeter gap between leaf and frame less than 4mm. Any gap larger than 4mm can compromise the door’s ability to restrict the spread of fire and smoke as the intumescent seal expands when heated to fill a 4mm gap.
All fire door assemblies, FD30 and higher, will require intumescent seal between frame and leaf.
What is third-party certification?
Third-party certification involves the testing and inspecting of the door as a complete assembly, including door leaf, frame, ironmongery, intumescent seals, gaps, ease of operation and glazing. We can provide 2 types of inspections, such as:
- Non-Intrusive- Visual and operational checks (No removing of any components)
- Intrusive- Visual, operational and internal checks, e.g. removal of architraves to check internal structure, etc.
We offer 2 types of certifications:
- Nominal Pass: If a fire door has no documentation, manufacture ID sticker or BM Trada plug, we can pass or fail depending on certain elements such as: thickness, rigidness/ density and condition of the door leaf, frame condition and dimensions, ironmongery, gaps and operation. We will state on the report if, in our professional opinion, your door passed other checks and will be effective in a fire. As the fire safety regulations become more stringent, some local authorities do not accept Nominal Passes on newly installed fire doors in multi-residential properties
- Certified Pass: If you have all documentation, manufacture ID sticker or ID BM Trada Plug, we can provide a full certified pass
Third- Party sign off is required on any newly installed fire door ensuring the installers are meeting the regulations. Regular testing and audits are required to complete the certification process and a report is issued indicating any defects and the scope of remedial works. It is these measures that establish the product supplied to the contractor meets and maintains the guaranteed quality of the original design.
To discuss your fire door requirements please contact MD Fire Doors.
We look forward to helping you.