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Things You Should Know About Fire Doors

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Fire doors are something that most people will encounter in their daily lives. How much do you really know about fire doors, and how they can save lives? Here are some key questions about fire doors.

1. Why are fire doors important?

Fire doors are essential because they keep smoke or fire in the area where it originated. They prevent the smoke from spreading to other parts of the building. A building’s passive fire protection system should include fire doors.

2. What are fire doors?

Fire doors are life-saving and help prevent further damage to buildings and contents.

They put out the flames in the same room where it started.
Fire doors prevent escape routes such as corridors from being engulfed in fire. This gives occupants more time to escape the building and allows fire services easier access.
They protect the rest of the building and its contents, as well as other nearby buildings, from further damage.

3. How do fire doors work

Fire doors are designed to stop the spread of fire and keep it out for a specific time. They are made from materials that can withstand fire for 30 to 60 minutes depending on their rating. Intumescent strips are placed in grooves on the edges of fire doors or fire doors frames. The heat from a fire causes the intumescent strip to expand and fill the space between the fire door frame and the fire door. This seals the room and prevents fire from spreading for a certain time. Fire doors will not work if they are closed when the fire starts. This is why you should make sure that your fire door has an automatic door closer as well as a sign that clearly identifies it as a firedoor.

4. How are fire doors constructed?

Fire rated doors are typically thicker than standard doors and have a core of variable material. Fire doors are constructed in different ways depending on their manufacturer. The most important thing is that the fire door is certified and tested to withstand flames for at least 30 seconds. The manufacturer must test the fire doors and frames together at an approved testing centre for fire doors. They must then be considered for certification. After certification has been approved, each fire door set manufactured to the same design specifications will be attached with a label. The label will identify the manufacturer, date and fire rating. The label is usually located on the top edge or the back of the door.

5. What is the average life expectancy of fire doors?

The fire doors and frames of fire doors are tested for their ability to hold back flames for either 30 or 60 minutes (FD30), respectively. Fire doors’ ability to resist fire depends on their installation with fire-rated hardware, including fire door closes, and the proper seals. A fire door that is used regularly can begin to deteriorate. Regularly inspect your fire doors and make sure that any maintenance issues are addressed promptly. Non-compliant fire doors can be identified by fire door inspections. Although fire doors may have ratings that exceed 60 minutes, these are not necessary in most cases.

6. Is it a legal requirement to have fire doors?

Fire doors are required in all non-domestic buildings, including businesses, commercial premises and public buildings. They are required in all residential apartments and houses with multiple occupancy. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that building operators in England or Wales appoint a Responsible Person’ for managing their fire safety precautions. They are required to reduce the possibility of fire spreading in the premises. Many buildings have fire doors that play an important role in reducing this risk. A fire risk assessment should be done on these types of buildings. A fire risk assessment is a thorough review of the premises. These assessments will identify any fire hazards and make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate them.

7. Are fire doors necessary in my home or apartment?

A fire-rated door can provide extra protection from fire damage in your home. Are they required by law?

Bungalows and houses: Fire doors are not required in many UK homes, but there are exceptions. Fire doors are required to be installed according to building regulations:

Every room in a home that is being built or renovated must have fire doors. Loft conversions that add an additional floor to a 2-storey home are exempt from this requirement.
Every door that leads from your home to an integral garage must have a fire exit. FD30 fire doors have a 30 minute fire rating and are sufficient for most domestic situations.

Flats and HMOs: All flats in a block should have a fire risk assessment. This will specify which fire doors are required. The following standards are set forth in Building Regulation Approved Document B2:

Each flat in a block of flats, or HMO, should have a fire exit at the entry to the communal area.
Flats on floors above ground must have a fire-rated door installed between all habitable rooms and the front door.
Ground-floor flats don’t usually require internal fire doors, as long as there is an escape route. If the front door opens onto a common area, such as a corridor, a fire door must be installed at the entrance.

Flats should use FD30 fire doors (30-minute fire rating)

8. Can fire doors be painted

Fire doors should be equipped with fire-rated hinges, locks, and hardware. However, fire doors do not require special paint. Fire doors can be painted with regular decorative paints or varnish, without affecting their performance. If the intumescent seals have not been removed, you should avoid using heat or chemical paint stripspers. Avoid painting any hardware, hinges or seals.

Fire doors can be stylish and decorative without compromising on style. You can choose from many glazing options, including Formica laminate, real wood veneer and paint. Pre-painted fire doors are available in all RAL colours, which saves time and gives you a professional look.

9. Can fire doors be left open while they are being lit?

Only fire doors can be left open if they have been held open legally, such as with a firedoor retainer or a hold-open free-swing closer.

It is unsafe to prop or wedge open fire doors. Fire doors have self-closing mechanisms so that they will close if there is a fire. A fire door that is not properly closed will cause the fire to spread faster or more slowly. A fire door retainer, or a free-swinging door closer, will ensure that the fire door closes in the event of a flame. This will maintain fire safety.

10. Who can install fire doors?

A competent person must fit fire doors. It is important that your fire doors are installed by a competent individual. No matter what rating a fire door has, if it’s not properly fitted it will not be able to withstand a flame for more than five minutes. Fire doors must be installed according to the building regulations. For example, the gap between fire doors and frames should not exceed 2 to 4mm. If you don’t have the necessary skills and experience to install these specifications, it can be challenging.

It can be difficult to understand the regulations surrounding fire doors. The Code of Practice for Fire Door Assemblies doesn’t specify any certification required to install fire doors. However, the Fire Safety Order says that fire doors should only be installed by competent persons. This person has sufficient experience and qualifications.

A professional fire door installer can give homeowners or responsible persons peace of mind knowing that the fitting was done correctly and that the fire doors will work in the event that there is a fire.