What is a Fire Door?

What is a Fire Door?

Fire doors are crucial for protecting people and property during fires through fire compartmentalisation, fire safety measures designed to minimise the potential for fire damage.

Put simply, a fire door helps to slow the spread of fire and smoke. This gives people in the building more time to evacuate, saving lives and reducing damage to both the building and its contents.

How long does a fire door contain a fire?

A fire door has a fire-resistance rating (FD) that indicates its ability to withstand fire for a certain time, typically based on the thickness of its core material.

To meet the necessary fire resistance standards, fire doors undergo rigorous testing.

The available fire door ratings are:

Fire doors with a 30-minute fire rating (FD30) and a 60-minute rating (FD60) are commonly installed in both offices and residential buildings to ensure a safe evacuation.

Some buildings may choose thicker doors with higher fire protection such as FD90 or FD120 to protect expensive equipment or important buildings in the event of a fire.

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How do I know it’s a certified fire door?

Manufacturers must test both the fire door and the frame in accordance with either BS 476: Part 22 1987 (British standard) or BS EN 1634-1 2000 (the European equivalent) at a UKAS-approved facility.

Alternatively, a door can be certified by either the BM TRADA Q-Mark fire door manufacturer scheme or the BWF Certifire scheme.

All of our fire doors are certified under the BM TRADA Q-Mark.

After certification, fire doors built using this door design specification are labelled with the fire rating and manufacturer information on the top edge of the door.

What are fire doors made of?

A fire door is typically constructed from a solid timber frame, reinforced with materials like metal, gypsum, steel, or aluminium. If the door contains a window, fire-rated glass is used to provide a period of protection against fire.

Intumescent strips are installed around a fire door leaf or frame to contain smoke and fire. When a fire breaks out, the intumescent strips expand and fill the gap between the frame and the door to stop the fire from spreading for a certain period.

Fire doors are equipped with CE-marked, high-grade stainless steel hinges that are fire-rated to withstand severe fire conditions.

To ensure a fire door functions properly, install a mechanical door closer to keep it closed during a fire.

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Installing a fire door and door frame

Fire doors must be installed correctly to ensure their effectiveness.

One critical aspect of proper door assembly is ensuring that the door is flush with the frame, leaving no gaps between the frame and the wall.

Any gaps could allow flames and smoke to pass through, rendering the door useless in containing the fire. Therefore, it is essential to pay close attention to the installation of fire doors to ensure they function correctly during a fire.

Where are fire doors required?

It is not always necessary to install fire doors in UK homes. For building regulations in England covering fire safety matters, refer to Fire Safety: Approved Document B. For Scotland, see Building Standards Technical Handbook 2017: Domestic Buildings.

Alternatively, check out our guide on UK fire door regulations.

Building Standards Technical Handbook 2017: Domestic Buildings.

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, flats 4.5 metres above ground level must have fire doors between habitable rooms and the hallway or stairwell.

Fire door in a flat.

Fire doors in ground-floor flats

Internal fire doors are not typically required in ground-floor flats as long as each room has an escape route.

Read more: Are Fire Doors a Legal Requirement in Flats?

Fire doors in commercial and non-domestic buildings

Fire doors are mandatory safety features in all non-domestic buildings. A fire risk assessment is necessary to determine a building’s fire risk and recommend safety measures. This includes guidance on installing fire doors, as well as rating and placement recommendations.

Fire door suppliers

Whether you need a single door or a complete set of fire-resistant internal doors, we can accommodate any order. Our fast turnaround ensures projects are delivered on time and within budget.

Contact us today for a no-obligation quote.