What are Fire Doors?

The job of a fire door is to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying the spread around a building and keeping the vital means of escape route 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 always the case.  Something may fail within the fabric of the building, or with the fire safety devices and tragedy occurs, causing death or serious injury

Fire doors are part of a building’s PASSIVE fire protection system, an essential requirement for ALL public buildings, offices 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. Where a door is heavily used, it should be checked every three months.

What are the risks of neglecting fire doors?

Manufacturing, installing or maintaining fire doors incorrectly results in 5 main risks:

  • Danger for users of the building and possible loss of life
  • Danger for emergency services responding to a fire
  • You could be prosecuted with a fine or imprisonment
  • Property and possessions will not be protected
  • Risk to 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 be a gap around the perimeter which may compromise the door’s ability to restrict the spread of fire. Intumescent seals expand to fill the gap when subjected to heat.

What is the maximum gap around a Fire Door?

The dimension of the gap around the entire perimeter of the door is critical to preventing the passage of toxic fumes and smoke in the event of a fire. On a fire door with smoke seals this gap is commonly 3mm but always check the fitting instructions or the fire door certificate.

Can my Fire Door have glazing?

Yes, glazing may range from a small vision panel in a door to a glazed screen for maximum light transmission and safety. Ordinary glass cracks when exposed to heat and is liable to fall out fairly early in a fire. Fire resisting glass can withstand exposure to the heat condition in a fire test for at least 60 minutes before it reaches a temperature high enough to soften it. This is mainly because, with clear FR glazing, nearly 50 per cent of the incident heat is transmitted through the glass by radiation.

Can I fit locks to a fire door?

You can only fit a fire tested and compatible locks as listed on the fire door certificate as excessive removal of material from the door leaf can impact performance in a fire. Metal gets hot in a fire, so don’t forget the intumescent protection if needed.

Can standard hinges be fitted to a Fire Door?

Fire door hinges are specifically designed to meet the same fire-rating certification as the door it’s supporting. They’re manufactured to a level where they will not warp, twist or deform under extreme heat, keeping the fire door in place and secure. They are essential for a fire door system to pass certification. Fire doors are often installed with 3 hinges, as opposed to 2 for regular doors, as fire doors are much heavier and thicker.

Will fire retardant paint make my door a Fire Door?

BWF Certifire would not recognise this as a fire door. A fire door is made up of many compatible and fire tested materials and components, all listed on the fire door certificate. A lick of paint will not turn a standard door into a fire door.

How much can I trim off my Fire Door?

A fire door can only be trimmed by the amount permitted on the manufacturers fitting instructions and fire door certificate. Resizing doors outside of the limitations set on the fire door certificate invalidates certification.

Can I prop or wedge open a Fire Door?

No, don’t prop open the door with wedges or by bending the closing mechanism. It is dangerous to wedge, or prop open a fire door as the safety of occupants cannot be guaranteed if there is a fire. Fire doors must be closed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

Legally, if you wedge open a fire door and it is judged that this puts someone’s life at risk, you could suffer penalties, including a fine or even a prison sentence.

What is third-party Fire Door certification?

Third-party certification involves the testing of the door as a complete assembly, including door leaf, frame, ironmongery, intumescent seals and glazing. But it goes further than just certification of the door leaf. Regular testing and audits are required to complete the certification process and certificates are issued, indicating the scope of the certification. It is these measures which ensure the product supplied to the contractor meets and maintains the guaranteed quality of the original design.

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To discuss your fire door requirements please contact MD Fire Doors.
We look forward to helping you.

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Fire Door Inspection and Certification