18th Nov 2022 -

Fire doors are a legal requirement in all non-domestic properties, including residential flats and HMOs (houses of multiple occupants). They offer essential protections by seriously inhibiting the progression of a fire through a building. At Building Materials Nationwide, we offer a wide selection of high-quality fire doors for sale. We have prepared this guide to talk you through some of the features of our selection of fire doors, showcasing the legal standards, essential fittings needed, and how to check that your fire doors meet regulation requirements.

What Is a Fire Door?

Internal fire doors are used as part of a passive fire safety system, containing the fire within sections of a commercial or domestic building. Fire doors can at once offer a fire barrier within a building, and can also offer a means of escape during a fire. Fire doors are typically made from a solid timber flame, though some models utilise fire-resistant glass panels within their construction, and stronger steel doors are also available.

Fire doors are typically split into two categories, FD30 and FD60. These codes specify the length of time a door can be expected to offer fire resistance, either 30 or 60 minutes. This test is based on both integrity and stability. Integrity failure is defined as either the point where flames and hot gases can pass through cracks or when flaming occurs on the unexposed face of the door. Stability failure is the full collapse of the door. FD60 doors are typically used to protect rooms within a building, rather than to stop the spread of fire. A situation where they might be used could be a server room or a room with sensitive contents that cannot be easily removed. Doors with fire ratings of FD90 and FD120 are also available for specialist environments.

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Types of Fire Resistant Door

A variety of materials can be used for fire-rated internal doors. Reinforced wood can be used, with solid cores and outer wooden framing. Glass fire doors are also available, made with fire-rated glass, with some glazed fire doors also functioning as heat barriers. For more substantial interior fire resistance steel fire doors are available, which can offer up to 4 hours of fire protection.

Where Should You Install Fire Doors?

For domestic buildings over two stories high, such as blocks of flats, every interior door between a stairwell and a habitable room must be a fire door. Fire doors are also a necessity for the doors between a house and an internal garage and in loft conversions. For mixed-use buildings, you’ll need to install an internal fire door separating the commercial and residential areas.

For non-domestic buildings, regulations are designed around providing horizontal or vertical escape routes. Vertical evacuation is a means of getting inhabitants towards a stairwell, whilst horizontal evacuation is about moving people away from a fire within a floor and getting them to a fireproof area on that floor. Fire doors will need to be fitted along these routes, with correct signage, and be designed in such a way as to offer a visual contrast with the walls they are installed within. When looking to design a fire escape route, you should always engage the services of a qualified professional to assess your building.

If looking to install fire doors on private property, it can be a great idea to surround potential fire hazard rooms with fire doors. A kitchen would be a great example or a room with a high number of electrical devices. Surrounding these rooms with fire doors can help to contain a fire within one room, keeping people safe and reducing the damage done by the fire.

Internal Fire Door

What Are the Commercial Fire Door Regulations?

All non-domestic buildings are subject to the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) specifying the inclusion of approved, functioning fire doors. This is the duty of a named “Responsible Person”, usually an employee or contractor. We have already covered where fire doors should be installed to meet building regulations, but there are also strict rules around the structure and quality of fire doors.

Your fire door frame should be of the same rating as the fire door, and the two can often be purchased together. The door should be lined with intumescent strips on the top and sides, and all hinges used should be fire-rated. The door should automatically close, leaving a gap with the frame of between 2mm and 4mm. Where relevant you should install a fireproof door handle.

If your commercial building has either insufficient internal fire doors or lacks internal fire doors altogether, you are breaking the law and putting people in danger. Those found to be operating a business with insubstantial fire doors can get an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.

What Else Do You Need to Fit A Fire Door?

Simply installing a solid fire door within your building is insufficient and won’t meet legal British standards. You will need to install a fire-resistant door frame, which your door will be fitted into. Door and frame can sometimes be bought together in fire door sets. Furthermore, all fixings will need to be fire-rated, including hinges and door handles. You will need a working door closer to be installed, and your door must not be left open unless you use a permitted device such as a Dorgard, which automatically closes the door upon hearing a fire alarm.

You will need to install intumescent strips around your door, which will expand in the heat of a fire to seal all gaps. Like internal fire safety doors, they are rated for 30 or 60 minutes. Smoke seals can also be placed around door frames, and will stop the passage of toxic smoke. While intumescent strips are essential, you can buy strips that include a smoke seal as well, offering further protection.

In commercial buildings, signage is also a legal requirement. Every fire door must be fitted on both sides with a sign, which will vary based on the type of door. Typically this will be a “Fire Door Keep Shut” sign. There will also need to be signs if your door requires opening, such as a green “Push Bar to Open” sign.

In 2019 76% of fire doors inspected by the Fire Door Inspection Scheme were condemned as not fit for purpose, with the major issues being excessive gaps, insufficient smoke seals, or failing door closers. Shockingly, 16% of surveyed fire doors were not actually fire-resistant doors. In most cases, issues can be rectified through refitting, resealing your fire doors, and fixing your door closers. Incorrect interior signage can be fixed by attaching the correct signs throughout your building.

FD30 Fire Door Red

How To Check Your Fire Doors Are Sufficient.

While making sure your fire doors align with the rules laid out in this guide is a good start, to properly check your fire doors are sufficient you’ll have to engage the services of a professional fire assessment company, registered with the Fire Door Inspection Scheme. While this will cost you money, it will give you peace of mind that those within your building are safe and that you are adhering to all legal requirements. The current recommendation is to get fire doors checked every six months, or every three months in busy properties. All fire doors should be fitted with a label on the side, certifying them and ensuring their traceability.

What Is the Fitting Process for Fire Doors?

The government does not currently mandate that fire safety doors must be installed by accredited professionals, requiring only that they be installed by a “Competent Person”. To make sure your internal fire doors reach standards, it is advisable to hire an expert. Bmtrada offers a Q-Mark accreditation for fire door installation, which requires passing a rigorous exam. If your fire doors are not properly fitted, with small gaps, automatic closers, and fire-resistant frames, you will be greatly reducing the protections they offer, and potentially breaking the law.

Our Range of Fire Doors

Building Materials Nationwide offers a range of fire-resistant doors and fitting accessories, for either new builds or renovations. We stock a wide range of interior fire doors, along with fitting products like intumescent strips. We have a selection of fire door signs available, to offer full signage throughout an escape route.

We work with people throughout the building industry, offering free trade accounts. Our trade account holders are all paired with a dedicated account manager, who can help to arrange the order and delivery of any goods needed, including those not listed on our website. Our whole product range can be delivered across the UK, with express delivery options available.

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    • BUY 2 OR MORE GET 10% OFF
    • Pre-finished ready to use
    Price from: £153.25 £183.90

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