Fire Doors - why are they so important?
We’ve all seen it, fire extinguishers propping open fire doors, particularly in summer. It is very easy to forget the importance of fire doors so this article aims to outline the importance of fire doors and the importance of having them properly installed.
Fire doors could literally save your life!
A door set when properly installed should keep the effects of a fire on the other side of the door back for a minimum of 30 mins.
Take a good look at this:
The Fire door on the right was properly installed and it potentially saved somebody’s life!
Unfortunately, we take fire doors for granted and abuse them. Some things to think about:
Have you removed that annoying closer because you need to take things in and out?
Have you propped the door open in the summer?
Have you changed fire doors for cheaper more aesthetically pleasing ones?
Were they fitted by a professional installer? (There’s more to it than you think!)
Key Features of a Fire door:
Fire doors are made up of various parts:
The door itself is usually made using solid wood and 10mm thicker than a regular internal door and sometimes covered again in fire-resistant glass. This glass should be able to 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.
A fire door will have an FD30 rating. This is a classification that tells you that a door will protect against fire for a minimum of 30 minutes. After that point, it’s feasible that the door will no longer be able to retain the fire. 30 minutes is plenty of time to evacuate a building or but this doesn’t give you time to collect belongings. The sooner you are out, the better.
Around the edges of the door will be the intumescent seal, which is designed to expand when temperatures reach beyond 200°C to seal the gaps between the door and frame.
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 absolutely essential for a fire door system to pass certification. Fire doors are normally installed with 3 hinges, as opposed to 2 for regular doors, as fire doors are much heavier and thicker.
All fire door hardware (locks, latches, hinges, etc) must be fire rated.
The fire door frame, which the manufacturer will have tested together with a fire door leaf must also offer the same fire protection as the leaf, eg 30 or 60 minutes and to stop the fire from spreading.
What do you need to do?
Ensure your fire doors are included in your fire maintenance and fire risk assessment.
Things you need to check:
Does your business need help with installing Fire Doors or carrying out your Fire Risk Assessments? We can help! We have highly qualified assessors available to help you and can provide a variety of Fire Safety services:
Fire Risk assessment
Building capacity and fire exit requirements
Fire extinguisher requirements
Fire management procedures
Fire marshal training
Fire extinguisher training