Fire doors are used in our homes, workplaces and public buildings, but the fire rating differs depending on the type of building.
Table of Contents
What are fire doors used for?
A fire door slows the spread of fire and smoke for a specific time period, giving occupants more time for a safe evacuation and reducing damage to the building and its contents.
Intumescent strips are installed around doors to contain fire and smoke. They expand to seal gaps and prevent the spread of fire.
A fire door fitted with smoke seals prevents smoke from spreading before the intumescent strip expands.
Fire door ratings
Fire doors are tested under specific conditions to see how well they can prevent the spread of fire and smoke. Each door is timed to see how long it takes for the fire to breach the door. Based on the test results, each door is given a fire rating.
A fire door has a fire-resistance rating (FD), typically ranging from 30-120 minutes, depending on its ability to withstand fire.
The higher the rating, the longer a fire door can resist the flames. The maximum rating for fire doors is FD240 (240 minutes).
FD30 fire doors
FD30 doors offer 30 minutes of fire protection when installed correctly. These doors are 44mm thick and meet standards set by the British Standards Institute (BSI).
The FD30 fire door is the most common in the UK. An FD30 door is commonly used in low-rise residential buildings with one or two floors and offices where rapid evacuation is possible.
FD60 fire doors
FD60 doors control the spread of fire for 60 minutes. These doors are 54mm thick and must meet standards set by the BSI.
FD60 fire doors are commonly used in high-rise residential buildings that take longer to evacuate or in high-risk commercial and industrial environments.
FD30s and FD60s fire doors
Some fire doors also offer additional smoke resistance with cold smoke seals and smoke brushes to prevent the spread of dangerous smoke. These doors are identifiable by FD30S or FD60S.
FD30 or FD60 fire doors?
FD30 and FD60 doors are tested to withstand fire for different time periods. FD30 and FD60 doors can withstand fire for 30 or 60 minutes.
Choosing an FD30 or FD60 fire door depends on the environment where you plan to install them and the location of the door.
A fire risk assessment evaluates a building’s fire risk and suggests fire safety measures, including where to install fire doors and the fire rating to use. If the fire risk assessment concludes that you require higher fire ratings, you are legally required to use this type of door.
FD30 fire doors are commonly a minimum requirement in residential and commercial buildings. You’ll often find that fire doors leading to escape routes only require an FD30 rating.
FD60 doors are heavier but provide double the protection time compared to FD30 doors.
Some building types require the installation of FD60 fire doors. You may need to install F60 doors in buildings where a higher level of fire protection is required, such as commercial or industrial settings with higher fire risks. Longer-lasting doors may also be necessary for a more complex building.
You may also decide to future-proof buildings against possible changes in building regulations by having FD60 fire doors installed to ensure that the building remains compliant and safe for its occupants.
Fire safety and building regulations
Fire doors are not always necessary. For building regulations in England, refer to Fire Safety: Approved Document B. For Scotland, see Building Standards Technical Handbook 2022: Domestic.
New buildings and building construction on existing buildings must adhere to local building regulations to comply with fire safety laws.
Fire doors are a legal requirement in blocks of flats and houses of multiple occupancy in the UK.
More: Fire Door Regulations
Fire doors in flats
Every flat or HMO must have a self-closing fire door at the entrance to the communal area.
For each residential flat, there must be a front fire door. In addition to the front door, fire doors are required between habitable rooms and the hallway or stairwell of flats located 4.5 meters or higher above ground level.
Read more: Are Fire Doors a Legal Requirement in Flats?
Fire doors in ground-floor flats
Ground-floor flats typically don’t require internal fire doors as long as each room has an escape route.
Fire doors in commercial and non-domestic buildings
Fire door installation is mandatory in all non-domestic buildings. A fire risk assessment is necessary to determine a building’s fire risk and recommend safety measures.
The role of fire doors
Fire doors are a crucial element of a passive fire protection system, which includes structural measures and fire compartmentation to reduce the potential for damage.
By having separate fire doors leading to a fire compartment, such as an individual flat, staircase or escape corridor, you can slow down the spread of fire to give people time to escape and protect other areas of the building.
How to identify a fire door
You can identify a fire door by finding the label on the door containing the door fire rating and information about the manufacturer.
Fire door suppliers throughout the UK
We are a reputable manufacturer of fire doors, supplying bespoke timber fire doors and certified doorsets tailored to your specific needs.
BM TRADA thoroughly test our fire doorsets, ensuring the highest level of fire protection.
All our fire doors comply with the current Building Regulations, the most recent edition of Approved Document B or Scotland’s Building Standards Technical Handbook.
Traynor Williams is committed to exceeding industry standards by providing high-performance doors with the highest fire protection.