Fire doors play a crucial role in restricting the spread of fire and smoke. Therefore buildings are compartmentalised to delay the spread of fire from one area to another. These compartments are usually linked by fire doors to allow the flow of traffic around the building.
Fire doors have two important functions in a fire;
- Closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire
- Open they provide a means of escape.
Importantly, a well-designed timber fire door will delay the spread of fire and smoke, without causing too much hindrance to the movement of people and goods.
6 top tips and make sure your fire doors are fit for purpose
An in-tumescent strip should be fitted into the frame or door
This is a sealing substance that expands in a fire, its purpose is to seal the door from fire and hold the door in position, stopping the fire spreading into the escape routes.
Check the fire door has a working door closure system
You should keep fire doors closed at all times. If you do keep them open, they should use an automatic release unit when the fire alarm is activated.
Make sure the fire door has 3 hinges
Three hinges are critical in helping the door stay in position and not break away from the frame in a fire.
Install glazing panels using intumescent seals
Without the use of an intumescent seal, the glass will collapse allowing the fire to spread.
Install and check the correct door furniture
- Hinges. Check there is no visible wear on the hinge.
- Door closing devices.Check that the door closing device is operating correctly. Ensure the doors are not being wedged open.
- Electro-magnetic hold-open and swing-free devices.Make sure that any electro-magnetic hold-open device is operating correctly and releases immediately when power is removed.
- Locks and lever handles.Check the levers fully return to horizontal after use and that the latch bolt is engaging smoothly and completely into the strike.
Check the fire door has the correct sign on both sides
Staff and visitors can only be expected to use fire doors correctly if instructed. Correct signing is critical and blue mandatory “fire door keep shut” signs should be on all fire doors.