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Fire Doors – Important Information

Many of us will be in contact with fire doors every day, whether at home or at work. What do you know about fire door safety and the role they play in saving lives? Below are key questions regarding ETO doors-fire rated doors.

1. Why is it so important to have fire doors?

Fire doors are vital because they keep the fire or smoke contained in the original room or ‘compartment. They stop the fire from spreading to other areas in the building. Passive fire protection systems in buildings include fire doors.

2. What does a fire door do?

Fire doors can save lives and prevent further damage of the building and its contents.

They contain the fire in that room.
Fire doors protect escape routes from fire. They allow occupants to flee the building faster and provide better access for firefighters.
They protect the remaining building and its contents from further damage.

3. What is the working principle of fire doors?

Fire doors stop fire spreading for a time. Fire doors are made of materials that can withstand fire for either 30 or 60 minutes, depending upon the rating. Intumescent strips are installed on fire doors in a groove at the edge of the door or firedoor frame. Intumescent strips expand when heat is applied to the gaps between the fire doors and the frame. This seals off the room and stops fire spreading for a time. The fire door can only function if it is shut when the fire is out. To ensure this, make sure your fire door is equipped with an automatic closer and a sign identifying the fire door.

4. How are fire doors made

Fire doors are thicker than regular doors. They also have a solid core made of variable material. The manufacture of fire doors will vary in terms of the construction. It must be tested and certified to withstand fire for at most 30 minutes. Manufacturers must have their fire doors and frames tested as a whole at an approved centre for fire door testing. After that, they can be certified. Once certification is granted, all fire doors manufactured according to the same design specifications by the manufacturer will have a label attached. The label contains information such as the date of manufacture, manufacturer and fire rating. This label can be found usually on the top of the door.

5. How long can fire doors last?

Fire doors and their frames are typically tested to withstand fire for 30 minutes (FD30), or 60 minutes (6 FD60). The fire resistance of fire doors and their frames is dependent on how they are installed using the right seals and fire-rated hardware. Fire doors can become damaged over time, especially if they are used frequently. Make sure to inspect your fire doors frequently and take care of any maintenance issues promptly. Inspections of fire doors can identify non-compliant firedoors. While fire doors can be rated for more than 60 minutes, they are not usually required.

6. Is fire safety a legal requirement?

Fire doors are a legal requirement for all properties other than residential. They are also required for houses of multiple occupancy and residential flats. According to the 2005 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, all building operators in England & Wales must appoint a Responsible Person’ who will manage their fire safety precautions. Their legal responsibilities include the duty to reduce the chance of fire spreading within their premises. This risk can be reduced in many buildings by using fire doors. This type of building should have a fire safety assessment. An in-depth assessment of the premises is required for fire risk assessments. They will provide recommendations for reducing or eliminating fire hazards, such as where fire doors should go and what rating they should have.

7. Are there fire doors that I can use in my flat or house?

Doors that are fire-rated can offer extra protection in case of a fire in your home. But is it a legal requirement?

For houses and bungalows, fire doors are not required by law in the UK. However, there are exceptions. The following building regulations outline where fire doors should not be used:

A home renovation or new build that includes three floors or more must have fire doors installed to each habitable space that leads from a staircase. This is also true for loft conversions, where an extra floor was added to a home with a two-storey structure.
All doors leading from your home to an attached garage must be fire doors. FD30 (fire doors that have a 30 minute fire rating) is sufficient in most domestic situations.

Flats and HMOs – Your block of flats must have had a fire risk analysis done. This will show you which doors must be fire doors. These standards are laid out in the Building Regulations Approved Document B2

A fire door should be installed at the entrance to every flat in a block or HMO.
Flats that are located at floors above ground level of 4.5m must have a fire-rated front door between each habitable room and the front door.
Ground floor flats usually do not require an internal fire door as long as the rooms have an exit route. A fire door is required at the entry if the front door opens onto an area like a corridor.

For flats, FD30 fire exits (30 minute rating) should be used.

8. Can fire doors can be painted?

Fire doors require fire-rated hinges and locks. They do not need special paint. Fire doors can be painted using regular paint or varnish. This will not affect their performance. If intumescent seals remain in place, avoid using heat- or chemical paint strippers. You should not paint over hinges, hardware, or seals.

With fire doors, there is no need for you to sacrifice style or decoration. There are many options for glazing and finishing, including Formica laminate, real hardwood veneer and paint. You can have your fire doors pre-painted in any of the RAL colours you choose, which will save time and give you a professional finish.

9. Can fire doors remain open?

Fire doors cannot be left open without being held open legally.

It is dangerous to prop open fire doors or wedge them. Fire doors come with self-closing devices that will shut down if there is an open fire. The spread of fire will not be slowed or stopped if a fire door is left open. Fire safety can be maintained by using a fire door retention or free-swing closer.

10. Who can fit fire doors

Fire doors should only be installed by competent individuals. Make sure that the person installing your fire doors has the appropriate training. It doesn’t matter how fire-rated a door is, if it is poorly fitted it won’t withstand a fire for more than five minutes. The installation of fire doors is subject to certain legal requirements. The distance between the frame and fire door should be between 2 to 4mm, according to building regulations. This specification can be difficult to comply with unless you have experience in joinery.

There are many regulations that govern the fitting of fire doors. The Code of Practice on Fire Door Assemblies is not clear about the requirements for installing a firedoor. However, The Fire Safety Order stipulates that fire doors must be installed only by qualified persons. A competent person is one who has the necessary training, experience, qualifications, knowledge, and skills.

A professional fire door installation will give the homeowner or Responsible Person peace of mind. The fire door will function as it should during a fire.