Introduction to Fire Doors
Fire doors are the first line of defence, and can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Their correct specification, installation, maintenance and management is paramount to the safety of all those who use the building.
Fire doors play a vital role in the fire safety of buildings, and are required in almost every building built in the UK, according to the requirements of the relevant national fire safety regulations. These engineered safety devices are a crucial part of the passive fire protection of every commercial, public and multiple occupancy building.
Fire doors sub-divide a building into compartments, and are designed to contain a fire to a single compartment of a building. Therefore, slowing down the spread of fire, reducing the risk to those in other compartments, and allowing occupants to escape. They save lives and property.
This introduction to fire doors serves as a guide to basic fire safety law, regulation and guidance, and the assembly, testing and certification of fire doors.
Fire Safety Law
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, or FSO, replaced over 70 pieces of fire safety law and came into force in 2006.
The responsibility for fire risk assessment in all non-domestic buildings, including the common parts of flats and houses of multiple occupation, falls to the so-called ‘responsible person’. Under the FSO, the responsible person must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan.
The law applies to you if you are responsible for business premises, an employer or self-employed with business premises, responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes, a charity or voluntary organisation, a contractor with a degree of control over any premises, or providing accommodation for paying guests.
Fire doors play a major role in the fire safety and protection of all buildings covered by the FSO and it is important that fire doors are inspected correctly and maintained in order to ensure compliance. Failure to do so can place property and lives at risk and is likely to result in criminal prosecution.
Regulation & Guidance
The principal regulation and guidance affecting fire doors is contained in Approved Document B: 2006 edition incorporating 2010 amendments: Volumes 1 and 2. These specifically cover fire safety guidance for buildings in which fire doors play a unique role. The guidance requires that a building is divided into compartments, protecting escape routes, such as corridors and staircases.
In domestic dwellings above two levels, every door leading to the stairwell (at all levels) must be a fire door, and wherever the door leads to a habitable room. Fire doors are also required in loft conversions, between a house and integral garage, and between the business and residential elements in a mixed-use building. For non-domestic buildings, guidance is divided into two sections based on horizontal and vertical escape routes.
Fire Door Assembly
A fire door assembly is made up of components which are required to make it perform correctly in the event of a fire. These components include the door leaf, frame, seals and essential building hardware.
Certifire accredited fire doorsets are labelled to show the fire door rating, certificate number (prefixed CF), manufacturer’s name and telephone number, and a serial number for each door to enable traceability.
All fire doors are supplied with the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions, providing details of the correct components that should be fitted to that particular door.
Correct signage is required on all fire doors installed in non-domestic buildings. Signs should be put on both sides of the door and must clearly indicate that the door is a fire door, and any further instructions required such as “keep shut”.
Testing & Certification
The building regulation relates to the entire door installation, and not just the door alone. Because of this, fire doors are not tested as individual leaves, but as a complete installation, along with frame, locks, latches and other essential ironmongery.
BS EN 1634-1 is the standard for fire resistance tests for doors and shutters. BS 476-22 is the standard for fire tests on building materials and structures, and is a method for determination of the fire resistance of non-loadbearing elements of construction.
Fire doors are tested to BS 476-22 or BS EN 1634-1 to represent how they will function in a fire, and are rated in minutes and prefixed by the letters FD.
Doors are tested and approved by Exova Warringtonfire, under the Certifire scheme. Certifire is an independent third party certification scheme that assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products.
Steel Fire Doors
Bradbury’s M2MFD range of steel fire doors are Certifire accredited to FD240 (certificate numbers CF107 and CF108). To achieve this rating, our doors were subjected to a furnace test withstanding temperatures of up to 1100°C for a period in excess of 4 hours.
Combining security and fire safety, a range of LPCB certified M2MFD doorsets with accreditation to LPS 1175 SR1 – SR4. If a security rating is not required, M2M+FD is available, with an optional acoustic rating of Rw 34 – Rw 35.
We offer a wide variety of locking options and hardware, and certain M2MFD doors are available with approved vision panels, louvres, and side and over panels. All Bradbury doorsets are polyester powder coated in a wide range of colours and finishes, as standard. Wood-grain effects, Extra Life warranty, and marine grade options are also available.
Bradbury also manufactures Specialist fire doors with certain customer-supplied hardware (must be fire rated), and can be constructed from stainless steel.
For more information on our range of fire rated doors, please contact a member of our sales team via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01724 271999.