What is a fire-rated door?

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Fire doors ensure that buildings are compartmentalized and perfectly safe to delay fire spread. In simpler words fire-rated doors safe lives and protect buildings from fire damages

What is a fire-rated door?

Fire doors are considered a legal requirement and an essential measure of protection for any building. In the Uk, fire doors are specifically designed for two main purposes. When they close they prevent the spread of a fire in a building. And when they do open, they provide an escape for tenants, occupants, staff…

Compared to regular doors, fire-rated doors are made of heavy and fire-resistant materials, such as aluminum or steel. This allows them to resist the fire, withstand it, reduce the risk and prevent fire from spreading.

The object of fire doors

  • Fire-rated doors work as a barrier against fire and smoke
  • Fire doors provide access to fire compartmentation and means of escape

The regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005 states that landlords and duty holders are legally required to provide means of protection against fire and smoke. This includes installing function fire doors to ensure the safety of tenants and occupants.

FD30 Doors

Fire doors provide a different level of fire protection and resistance, for example, let’s take the FD30 doors

FD30 doors are the most popular and used fired doors in the UK, specifically designed to provide fire protection with resistance duration of 30 Minutes.

FD30 doors will delay fire spread with a resistance minimum of up to 30 minutes. For most fire cases, 30 minutes is the standard time for a complete building evacuation.

Nevertheless, FD30 doors will delay only fire spread, for smoke spread its recommend to install FD30s doors

FD30s prevent fire and smoke from spreading for at least 30 minutes.

Types of fire doors

Fire protection rating, doors materials, and features are the aspect of classifying any fire door in the UK and Europe.

First and foremost, classifying fire-rated doors according to their level of protection

  • FD30: fire doors provide fire protection and fire resistance up to a minimum of 30 minutes
  • FD60: fire doors with fire protection and resistance up to a minimum of 60 minutes
  • FD90: fire doors provide fire protection and fire resistance up to a minimum of 90 minutes
  • FD120: fire doors with fire protection and resistance up to a minimum of 120 minutes

Secondly, classifying fire doors based on what materials they are made of, for example, glazed fire doors, oak fire doors, steel fire doors…

Lastly, to find the right fire door, you must consider its features

Here are some of the main fires rated doors to consider when buying a fire door

  • Swing fire rated doors: allows you to open and close the door from one side only
  • Sliding fire rated doors: for stock building and activities that include materials that could support a fire risk
  • Shutters fire rated doors: Designs to reduce fire risks in big gaps areas
  • Guillotine fire doors: typically, you’ll find them in large spaces such as halls and library

Fire doors checklist

Besides knowing how fire doors are usually classified there are other components to consider before purchasing a fire door. We refer to these components as the fire doors protection

Here is a brief summary of the main component of every checklist:

  • Door leaf: also refers to a fire door. Consider as the main component in your checklist for a fire door assembly or a doorset
  • Door frame: The door leaf must be installed to a fire resistance door frame
  • Ironmongery: Including all the items of a fire door rated including hinges, latch, door closer, eye viewer…
  • Door seal: such as intumescent seals, cold smoke seals …
  • Fire signs: Fire doors should contain visible fire signs including escape route fire signs

Key Features of fire-rated doors

Now you will be able to buy r decide what fire door to use and install, to help you furthermore here are some of the features that could help you decide

  • For domestic and commercial buildings, you can use fire doors that are made of different components. For instance, you could find a fire door built with solid timber and covered by thick resistance fire glass.
  •  The intumescent seal of a fire-rated door is designed to expand if the temperature reach or pass 200°C to seal and prevent fire spread
  • For large gaps or building that contain material stock with a fire risk potential. It’s advised to install a sliding fire door to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Among other things, landlords and responsible persons are legally obliged to provide escape lighting and fire signs near exit points.
  •  It’s important to know how to read fire-rated doors. FD means fire protection while FDs means fire and smoke protection. FD30 means that a fire door will provide fire protection for up to 30 minutes.
  • Make sure your fire doors contain cold smoke seals, this allows you to prevent smoke spread which could be lethal at some point.

How to check fire doors in 5 steps?

Fire doors play a role in the Fire risk assessment and vacation plans of any building. Therefore it’s necessary to ensure these doors are well maintained and functional.

We present for you 5 quick methods for checking fire doors performance

  1. Check door damages: this is the most essential part of your checklist, make sure that there are no signs of penetration or damages on the door leaf, frame, and seals…
  2. Check the door closing condition: Simply open the door halfway and let it go, you will notice that the door will latch automatically.
  3. Ensure that your fire door hinges are perfectly safe and not damaged
  4. Make sure that the gaps of the door and its frame are up to the fire safety regulation
  5. Make sure that the door you aim to buy is certificated by legal authorities

Note: the gaps between a fire door should be 4 mm or less at the top and 5 mm or less at the bottom

Painting fire rated doors

Can fire doors be painted?

The answer to this question is, yes you can paint your fire doors, you can use paint or varnish according to your building decors. Yet, it’s not recommended to paint them completely, because it will affect their performance against protection.

According to the fire safety order regulation it’s advised to paint hinges, handles, seals this could lead to malfunction and there will be consequences if in case of a fire spread.

Certification for fire-rated doors

The European and the UK laws state that fired doors must get tested and certificated for performance by a third party organization or qualified persons.

The organization that carries out the fire-rated doors testing and examination process must be independent.

The certificate process must meet with the regulatory reform fire safety order 2005 which normally includes testing the fire doors rates of protection, duration of protection, verifying their design, and make sure there is no faulty in its design or manufacture.

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Pro Checks Authors

Pro Checks Authors

Pro Checks is a London-based team specializing in landlord safety certificates, including electrical, gas, and fire safety. Committed to delivering high-quality, reliable services at competitive prices, our experienced professionals provide prompt service and attention to detail to meet the needs of landlords and property managers. Choose Pro Checks for all your safety certificate needs and have peace of mind knowing your property is in safe hands.

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