Living in buildings comprised of timber and other flammable materials has created a unique challenge for humans ever since they decided to live indoors as opposed to out in the wilderness. This risk grows exponentially when the buildings are multi-story and are the centre of so much activity, with hundreds, if not thousands of people travelling through them every day.
It is not possible to reduce the risk of fire to zero but making it extremely difficult for any fire to spread gives the fire department enough time to come in and put out any fire that does start. This is where fire doors play a crucial role in human safety asset protection.
What is a Fire Door and Why is Installing a Fire Door a Mandatory Part of a Safety Plan?
Fire doors are specially designed doors and door frames that are engineered to slow the spread of fire and smoke, giving time for emergency crews to arrive, and put out the fire. Specific materials and purpose-built frames are used to allow for the movement of people and goods but are still able to slow the spread of fire and smoke. They are mandatory by law in all buildings except for residential and are a common-sense measure to preserve life and property in the case of a fire.
What Makes Fire Doors Different from Other Doors?
Fire doors are designed to buy time in the case of a fire. How do they do this?
- All door hardware for fire doors needs to be fire rated (made from fire-resistant materials)
- Doors are thicker and heavier than normal doors
- Fire door seals are meant to stop the spread of smoke and swell when in contact with the heat from a fire
- Fire doors are outfitted with automatic closers
- Any inset glass needs to be fire rated
- The frames must also be rated for fire protection and are often filled with expanding foam
How Long Do Fire Doors Protect Against the Spread of Fire?
Maria from Doors Galore said “The amount of time a fire door will stop the spread of fire depends on the type of fire door you install.” Different applications call for different levels of protection. How long can a fire door protect you?
- FD30 (30 minutes)
- FD60 (60 minutes)
- FD90 (90 minutes)
- FD120 (120 minutes)
Are There Laws or Codes Dictating the Installation of Fire Doors?
Absolutely! The codes and laws around fire doors in the UK are extensive and for good reason. People’s lives are at stake when it comes to installing and choosing the right fire door. What are some of these regulations?
- Mixed-use buildings need to have fire doors separating the residential areas from the business areas
- Car parks need to have fire doors separating the car park from the stairwells
- Flat entrance doors enteringmulti-occupied residential areas need to have fire doors
- Fire doors need to be properly labelled
- Professional fire door installers must set fire doors in place
Who is Responsible for Fire Door Compliance?
These laws can vary but you may be defined as the “responsible party” in charge of fire door compliance if you are…
- Providing accommodation to paying guests
- A contractor with control of the premises
- Own or are responsible for the building or premises
Fire Does Save Lives
Make sure to follow codes and any local regulations when it comes to installing fire doors and any other fire safety requirements. Lives depend on it.