Fire Door Safety Week

We are now in Fire Door Safety Week 2013 (16 – 21 September) which aims to raise awareness of fire safety and the importance of recognising fire doors as a safety device. Fire doors are the ultimate life saver and in this article, I will explain how, as trade professionals, it’s crucial to install fire doors correctly to ensure their effectiveness.

Fire doors are specifically designed to save lives by reducing the rate at which fire spreads through a building, providing time for occupants to escape safely. So it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that they fit properly and perform correctly in the event of a fire. They are available in a range of ratings that indicate how long the product can withstand heat and flames. The minimum rating is FD30 doors that protect life and offer 30 minutes fire resistance. Higher specification FD60 doors are also available, providing additional time and protection.

modern stylish fire door

Fire doors are fitted with an intumescent strip along the sides and top of the door or door frame, which lies dormant during everyday use, but rapidly expands when exposed to extreme heat to seal the gap between door and door frame. This barrier against fire explains why it is so important that a fire door is kept closed at all times, ensuring a clear route to safety in the event of a fire.

The latest regulations stipulate when a fire door should be installed so it’s important to keep updated on the latest changes. Be sure to check that the door installed has the correct certification for its intended use and it is installed, and maintained, by competent personnel. A fire door closer must remain connected at all times.

As fire doors are typically thicker than standard doors, trade professionals are often forced to replace both the door and the door frame, adding to the complexity and cost of the project. To combat this, JELD-WEN has developed an exclusive collection of FireGuard® FD30 doors that offer 30 minutes fire protection, but are within the standard 35mm thick door construction – so it’s simply a case of changing the doors using the existing frames and linings.

The FireGuard® range is also available in various designs, making fire safety practical, affordable and stylish.

It’s critical that fire doors, frames and components are purchased from certified companies and are rated by the British Woodworking Federation BWF-CERTIFIRE scheme, which demonstrates that the door specifications and manufacturing methods have been assessed rigorously and audited regularly to ensure compliance with the highest safety standards. Doors that reach this standard can be identified by the BWF-CERTIFIRE label on the top edge of the door and ironmongery components must hold a CE mark.

In most instances fire doors can be trimmed, but the amount can vary so check the instructions – it’s important not to trim the top of the door as the CERTIFIRE label must not be removed. It’s also essential that a fire door is not altered on site and never cut holes or glazing apertures into a fire door, unless certified to do so. Finally, it’s crucial to check that there is a consistent gap of between 3 and 4mm between the door and door frame and that any gaps around the outside of the frame are sealed with intumescent material to prevent the fire from rapidly spreading.

For more information and advice on fire doors, visit JELD-WEN’s website where you’ll also be able to access a ‘how to’ video on fitting a fire door correctly.

Article by Chris Miller, product manager at JELD-WEN

How safe is your fire door?

Ahmarra Limetree Fire Door When is a fire door not a fire door? When it is incorrectly installed – then it can pose a significant risk.

The role of the fire doorset is to prevent fire from spreading from its source to other parts of the building by effectively closing off the room in which the fire started. So far, so good and all very responsible. But to be successful, the doorset has to be manufactured and installed absolutely correctly.

Alarmingly, a high percentage of fire door installations are being made by contractors buying all the components separately and constructing the assembly on the building site. This is where danger can lurk. If fire doors are not installed properly, their fire-resistance can be seriously compromised.

Ahmarra Fire Door at GatwickSo how can customers be sure their fire door is fulfilling the role it is supposed to do? It’s worth knowing about the BM TRADA Q-Mark Fire Door Manufacturer Scheme. This has been designed to allow fire-door manufacturers to demonstrate that their doors meet the standards required, and to provide ongoing reassurance that their product is fit for purpose.

Ahmarra is a member of the BM TRADA Q-Mark Fire Door Manufacturer Scheme and the BM TRADA Fire Door Registered Installer Scheme. We are one of the few specialist fire doorset manufacturers who can also offer an installation service with the ability to certify every aspect of the performance of a doorset.

Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra
Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra

Safety is the most important plus factor of factory-hung fire rated doorsets, there are many other benefits, including major savings in time and money. That’s a big tick in anyone’s book and it’s no wonder more and more contractors are advocating the use of pre-hung doorsets.

With a Q-Mark certification, as well as excellent environmental credentials in terms of FSC/PEFC certification, Ahmarra is able to meet the supply chain criteria for many of the top UK construction companies.

Post written by Tim Doran, Managing Director, Ahmarra.