What do fire doors do?
In short, fire doors save lives and property. They are part of a building's passive fire protection system and are fundamental to most fire strategies for buildings.
They provide critical protection within a building such as escape routes (stairs and corridors) and places of relative safety, and in separating different fire hazards in a building.
Specific guidance for fire doors relating to all buildings which contain two or more domestic premises and that contain common parts through which residents would need to evacuate in a fire is available on the www.gov.uk website:
Important information about fire doors
- Fire doors must work correctly
- They must be tested and third-party certificated to BS 476 - - Part 22 or BS EN 1634 Part 1
They must be fitted with the correct and compatible components suited to the door leaf and its purpose
- Like any fire safety device, they should be installed and maintained by competent people
- A fire door's performance should never be compromised
- Correct glazing and ironmongery must be used
- No altering or adapting the door leaf on site
- Always use the correct frames
- Always use intumescent seals
- Ensure good installation and maintenance
- Never prop open a fire door
DOs and DON'Ts for staying safe
- Specify and use third-party certificated fire doors and components
- Buy fire doors, frames and components from certificated companies
- Check the certificate matches the door
- Make sure you have the correct certification for the door's intended use
- Install and maintain fire doors using competent personnel
- Make sure that ironmongery components are CE marked.
- Fit a fire door as you would any other door – it's an engineered safety device
- Cut vision panels and other holes on site
- Patch up a fire door
- Take risks by reducing the specification
- Disconnect a fire door closer
- Prop or wedge open a fire door
Did you know?
Leaving fire doors wedged or propped open disregards the safety of others. It is also against the law.
In a recent review of 100 cases prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire doors were the second-highest reason for prosecutions.
All fire doors should be fitted with intumescent seals – they expand between five and ten times their original size, sealing the gaps around the perimeter of the door and holding the door construction firmly in place.
Some fire doors may also need smoke seals and/or acoustic seals.
Essential ironmongery for fire doors must be CE marked even though fire doors themselves don't need to be (at present).