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What is the purpose of a fire door?

Fire doors are designed to help occupants escape and support firefighting activities. They are an integral part a building’s passive protection system.
Fire doors have the following main functions:

To allow air to escape from a space, and to close it once it has been released
Fire (smoke gas, flames) can cause serious damage to escape routes.
Potentially reduce the oxygen availability and slow down fire growth

Fire rated doors are made to resist fire spreading for a certain time. This is usually 30 minutes. This gives people enough time to exit the building via an escape path if other routes are damaged by fire.

A fire door is an engineered component that includes the frame, door leaf, and any fixtures and fittings. They can be either solid or made from a special material, such as flax board or a composite wood material. They will have intumescent seals that are installed in the leaf or frame. These seal the door when it is heated to stop the spread and spread of smoke and fire around the edges. Smoke seals will also be fitted to doors in order to stop smoke entering the first stages of a fire.

Fire-rated doors need to be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions. They must also include the required ironmongery and other facilities that represent the original doorset. This is crucial for door performance in case of fire. The British Woodworking Federation believes that third party certification is the best way to make sure Fire Doors are made consistently in order to protect people and property. Cut corners can result in the loss of life.
Fire door maintenance

It is vital that fire doors are regularly inspected due to their important role in protecting lives. Frequency will depend on many factors including age, condition, and frequency of usage. A fire door for a staircase is more likely to be used than one for a boiler room. Fire doors are an extremely well-engineered fire safety device and should be installed by a competent person. Competent persons should inspect and maintain them.

Building owners, operators, and occupants have a responsibility to make sure their tenants and properties are safe. This includes maintaining fire doors and front doors for flats and other similar buildings. If they don’t fulfill their obligations, those with the ultimate responsibility for a property are subject to legal liability.

Fire doors: A 5-step checklist

This 5-step test will help you determine if your fire doors meet the standards.

It is important to check the certification. For modern doors, a label should be placed on the top (or sometimes the side) of the door. These labels and markings may not be available for older doors. The design and construction of older doors may be different from modern ones. They may not have smoke seals or intumescents but they will come with a 25mm door stop. It is important to fit a proper fitting vision panel or other glazing in any area of the leaf or surround. While many fire doors have wired glass, it’s important to check for clear panels that are being installed. This will confirm that they are fire resistant.
You should measure the gaps. This can be checked with a PS1 coin, which is approximately 3mm. The frame or leaf can be adjusted to close any gaps that are not correctable. Replacement may be required in extreme cases. Also, make sure to inspect the leaf and frame to make sure they are not bent or warped. It is difficult to repair bowed, cupped or warped doors and they often need replacement.
Check the seals. It is crucial to inspect and report any missing or damaged seals.
Does it close completely? – Open the door, and it will close itself. It is unlikely that the door will close completely by itself in the case of a fire. It should be checked every week for normal opening, such as with an electro-magnetic holding device. This will ensure that the doors open and close properly when the fire alarm sounds. Door closing effectiveness may be affected by hinges, latches, self-closing devices, and other hardware.
Verify the hinges. If the hinges don’t fit properly, are missing/broken screws or dirty, it could compromise the door’s integrity and require maintenance. Properly maintained hinges can save you valuable time.