An Introduction to Fire Doors

This week, Global HSE are supporting Fire Door Safety Week. A campaign created to engage and educate building owners and building users on the importance of a fully compliant and functioning fire door.

This blog will help give a better understanding of what is a fire door, the components that make one up and how to maintain and inspect them.

What is a fire door?

Fire doors are a legal requirement in almost all commercial buildings and residential properties – including blocks of flats, sheltered accommodation and multiple occupancy premises.

The doorsets are specifically designed to maintain compartmentation and delay the spread of fire from one area of the building to another. The two most important functions that fire doors have are:

  • When closed, to form a barrier to prevent the spread of fire
  • When opened, to provide a means of escape

They are constructed of materials designed to resist fire for a certain amount of time. The most common fire door categories are FD30 and FD60, which offer 30 and 60 minutes protection. Standard doors will withstand an advanced building fire for only a few minutes and allow the fire and smoke to spread rapidly through a building. This means, in the event of a fire, a normal door is about as protective as no door – and likewise for an open or incorrectly installed fire door.

Regulations and requirements

There are strict regulations and guidelines that property owners must follow to ensure fire doors are fully functional and compliant. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), landlords are responsible for ensuring their properties and tenants are safe. The ‘responsible person’ has a legal responsibility under the FSO and can be criminally prosecuted if they do not fulfil their duties.

Fire doors should always be fitted by a competent installer with the correct certification for the products used to make up the door assembly. There is a legal requirement for manufacturers of fire doors to demonstrate the ability of their products to resist the passage and spread of fire. However, these fire resisting capabilities can be compromised if the doors are not properly installed.

Global HSE are accredited to the BM TRADA Q-Mark Installation scheme. This scheme is based on training individuals to ensure doorsets are installed correctly and in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines. 

Fire door maintenance

It is essential fire doors are regularly inspected and maintained. Periodic checks should be carried out at least once every six months to inspect the fire door for damage. Any damages may prevent it from performing in the event of a fire. If issues do arise, they should be fixed as soon as possible using compatible, correct fire rated components.

Read our recent blog post to find out how to carry out checks to a fire door.

If you have any queries relating to the installation and maintenance of doors, contact our team through this enquiry form.

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