Fire Doors and Fire Door Sets are a very critical part of fire safety as they provide passive fire protection. There are Building regulations, standards, codes of practice that need to be followed with regards to the specifications, installation and maintenance of fire doors. This Video gives a good overview.
The Performance Standards include BS EN1634-1-:2014 or the older standard BS476-22:1987 which give the performance of fire doors and door sets, e.g. E30, FD30, or if smoke performance is specified, e.g. E30Sa, FS30s respectively.
Performance Specifications for fire resisting door sets consider both fire resistance and smoke control standards.
|Performance||Tested to BS476-22:1987||Tested to BSEN 1634-1:2014|
|20 minutes fire resistance||FD20||E20|
|20 minutes fire resistance and smoke control||FD20S||E20Sa|
|30 minutes fire resistance||FD30||E30|
|30minutes fire resistance and smoke control||FD30S||E30Sa|
|60 minutes fire resistance||FD60||E60|
|60minutes fire resistance and smoke control||FD60S||E60Sa|
Building Regulation Document B Volume 1 covers fire doors in Domestic Housing;
Building Regulation Document B Volume 2 covers other buildings
Building Regulation Reform ( Fire Safety) Order passing on of information Regulation 38
The main reasons for installing fire doors is to ensure that escape routes are protected from fire and or smoke, to protect contents and the structure and to allow for firefighting. See Fire Testing Video
Every individual part/component, e.g. hinges of a door set can affect the performance of the fire door set and should not be taken for granted. Working on a fire door should not be considered a general DIY task it is recommended to seek professional advice before attempting any repairs or modifications to any component of a door set.
All different items in the door set are tested and designed to work in that door set ( as a complete unit).
The door sets have been tested by an Authorised Independent test laboratory on the performance of the complete door set to ensure that the fire door set achieves a minimum fire resistance time e.g. 20mins, 30mins, 60mins, 90min and 120mins etc.
A number components make up a fire door set package these include:
Door leaf, Door frame, hardware(e.g. hinges, door closers, springs – glazing), Intumescent and smoke seals. All these individual parts cannot be replaced or modified without checking the door suppliers instructions or the Door Scheme Certification Body Guidelines.
It is essential to ensure that fire doors are endorsed by a Certified Door Scheme and are correctly labelled. Examples of Fire Door Certification Schemes include BM TRDAs Q- Mark Fire Door Schemes or BWF- Certifire Fire Door and Doorset Scheme. These are Independent Bodies which run schemes of conformance of doors sets and compliance is easily identifiable with the labels on the doors and tehy have an accompanying certificate.
Common assumptions and errors tend to occur with fire doors and door sets which could have devastating consequences, e.g. –
It is important to look at some of the Fire Door Myths on this link before going further:
- Not having a named or responsible person looking after the fire doors, including not having all the information on installation, maintenance and care as required by The law is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 if this law is not adhered to, could result in prosecution.
- Not following manufactures guidance, g. Changing components or parts which have not been tested with the complete unit, trimming or planning doors, inserting or increasing glass apertures
- Using wrong size frames, as a general guide the Frames for FD30 tend to be minimum softwood thickness of 32mm and density of no less than 450kg/m3. European redwood tends to be a prevalent species for this application. For FD60 frames tend to be hardwood of a density of no less than 640kg/m3 – Sapele, American White Oak have been very popular for this application taking over from species like European Beech which has had concerns of poor charring results hence been taken off by other manufacturers. Door stops tend to be minimum of 12mm where specified.
- Changing the location of and quantity of hardware, smoke and intumescent seals as per specification.
You can buy Doorsets in a number of forms/packaging:
Doorsets: the best way of buying and fitting a fire door. The door is supplied hung in its frame complete with all essential hardware and seals.
Door kits: similar to doorsets, where the door and frame are sold factory prepared and ready for hanging, complete with the compatible components.
Door leaves: unfinished, veneered or painted, these must be matched with the correct size frame and compatible components.
Door blanks: oversized, unfinished leaves trimmed to size, lipped and veneered. When converted to a door set, these must demonstrate evidence of performance. Their specification must match the approval, including manufacturing and all components.
It is vital to follow some updates such is the Fire Door Safety Week which has a lot of useful resources on fire doors.