Fire doors play an essential role in fire safety, and in many commercial buildings their installation is likely to be required as the result of a fire risk assessment under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Because they are designed to withstand flames and smoke for a certain period – usually for up to 30 minutes or an hour, depending on their rating – they give anyone in the building extra time to escape safely in the event of a fire. By containing the fire within a specific area, they also allow more time for firefighters to arrive at the scene and prevent the fire from spreading further and causing greater damage.
This month, the team at Hoyles Fire & Safety is taking a close look at the subject of fire doors to discover why and how they should be fitted, and why it’s essential that the job is done by a trained and qualified professional.
How do fire doors work?
While the fire door itself is made of fire resistant material (including any glazing and ironmongery), each edge contains an intumescent strip that will expand under heat to fill the space between door and frame. It’s that seal that prevents the fire from spreading to other parts of the building or premises.
Naturally, for this to work, the door must be kept closed at all times, so it should be fitted with an automatic closer and a sign on each side to clearly indicate that it is a fire door.
Where are fire resistant doors required?
In domestic buildings with more than two storeys, fire doors need to be fitted between any habitable room and a stairwell or other communal area. They should also be installed in loft conversions, and between a house and an integral garage.
In a commercial building, the premises should be divided into ‘compartments’ to protect escape routes and prevent the fire from spreading. Compartmentation and required locations for any fire doors will be specified as part of your fire risk assessment.
How to fit a fire door
If you’re thinking about fitting your own fire door and you don’t have the necessary experience and training, then the simple advice is don’t.
Fitting a fire door is nothing like fitting a normal door, as there are so many extra things you need to make sure are right if it is going to work effectively in the event of a fire. When your building is inspected by your local Fire and Rescue Service, a thorough fire door inspection will be included as part of the process. If yours are not fitted in accordance with fire safety and building regulations for fire doors, you will almost certainly be required to get them corrected, with the possible threat of closure of your building if it is not done within a certain amount of time.
Who should carry out the fitting?
A fire door must be fitted by a fully trained person who is competent to do the job properly. Although there isn’t a formal qualification, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that the work should be carried out by “someone with sufficient training and experience, qualifications and knowledge to be able to implement fire safety measures (some or all) in a building”.
Make sure you’re getting a competent person for your fire door installation by carefully checking the accreditations and other documentation of your chosen provider.
Professional fire door installation
Here at Hoyles Fire & Safety, we’re members of a number of industry bodies, including the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) and The British Fire Consortium.
We are experienced at fitting fire doors and can do so to the very high standards required to both keep you safe and make sure you’re fully in line with all fire safety legislation. We can also carry out ongoing fire door maintenance to make sure your fire doors continue to protect you for years into the future.
If your business is located in Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford or any of the surrounding areas and you’d like to know more about fire door fitting and maintenance from Hoyles Fire & Safety, please get in touch with our team now.
By Hoyles Fire and Safety Ltd