Put simply, the best fire doorsets are the ones manufactured by an accredited manufacturer and that are fitted correctly. These are the only ones that work, and the only ones you put the safety of lives to. The ones that work have been manufactured to standard and tested to BS 476 Pt.22. Discount anything else.
Fire door manufacturers have a set of rules and standards that they need to abide by every single time to make a doorset. It’s all about the materials they use, tolerances they meet, and the complex intumescent protection they build into the doorset.
Fire Door Fitting is everything…
You could create the best fire door in the world, but if it is fitted incorrectly, it will not act as a fire door.
For example, say you decided to put up a new a fire doorset to use in your kitchen. If you simply screwed the doorset to the existing opening, chances are good that it would work perfectly as a doorset. However, just screwing a fire doorset to an opening without installing the proper sealant and hardware will negate all its fire resistance and defeats its intended purpose.
An improperly installed fire doorset would be analogous to a boulder straddling a flooding creek as the water sweeps by. So, ‘the best fire door in the world’ is just as useless. No matter what the manufacturer has done, improper fitting will negate any certification posted on the door.
The best internal fire doorsets are but one component of the fire-resisting kit to keep dwelling occupants safe and comply with fire door regulations. Certified fire-resisting doorsets are the ideal option when buying and fitting a fire door. The door hangs in its frame, complete with all certified fixings and hardware components.
To find out about some common faults that inevitably lead to fire door failure, check out this blog post and video.
Fire Doorset Components
What makes a fire doorset the first line of defence against heat and smoke is its intumescent and cold smoke seal. The seal expands with heat and provides a fire stop, smoke seal, and thermal insulation for the door. The seal fits to the sides and top edge of the door or in grooves in the fire door frame. Threshold seals may be added to the base of the door.
Smoke seals are an important safety addition; Smoke inhalation is the biggest cause of deaths during fires. A smoke seal on a fire door can be brushes or flexible fins in the casing of the intumescent seal or fitted into the frame. Some designs employ automatic dropdown seals. What the smoke seal does is seals the gap between the fire door frame and wall opening and block the fire and smoke from passing behind the frame.
The hardware components are essential ironmongery components that make the fire doorset work and will include hinges, a self-closing device or locking system (or both)
Fire Door Installation: The Specifics
We’ve outlined that fitting is everything when it comes to the performance of your doorset. With that in mind, we have outlined some key points to consider before installing a fire doorset.
- Wall type: Of suitable fire resistance for the fire door assembly or doorset rating.
- Installation Instructions: You have the relevant installation instructions from the manufacturer. Linear gap seal: You have suitable materials and intumescent materials and mastics to fill the gap as detailed on the installation instructions or fire certificate data sheet.
- Door leaf: Suitable for the fire door rating. Free from damage. Cerificate label/s on top of door undamaged.
- Door frame: Free from damage. Suitable for the fire door rating. Compatible with the door assembly or doorset.
- Fire and smoke seals: Free from damage. Fitted Securely and flush with the surface of the groove. Ensure the entire perimeter seal is full length with no gaps or joins.
- Fixings: You have appropriate fixings for the frame, hinges, lock, latch and other ironmongery as specified by the manufacturer.
- Ironmongery: Supplied with correct intumescent pads. Supplied with fitting instruction. CE marked for fire performance where applicable. Hinges free from damage.
- Vision panels or other apertures cut in the door leaf for ironmongery such as letter plates or air transfer grilles: Check all ironmongery, glass, glazing beads, seals and intumescent materials are free from damage and secured to the door.
- BWF-Certifire label: Check door label /s in place.
- Competency of workforce: Ensure your workforce are suitable trained and qualified to install fire doors.
Apertures for Glass and Transfer Grilles
A fire-resisting doorset is an engineered safety device. Any alterations, such as adding glazing apertures, should only be carried out by an approved manufacturer or installer.
As with any safety device, a fire-resisting doorset and all its components should be checked and maintained on a regular basis.
Most Common Doorsets
In our blog ‘How Do Fire Resistant Doors Work?’ <attach a link>, we briefly covered fire door standards. The most common fire-resisting doorsets tested and approved by UK regulators are the FD20, FD20S, FD30, and FD30S. Those doorsets have been tested to the standards of BS 476-22:1987. The FD30S, for example, provides 30 minutes’ fire resistance with smoke control.
Your Bespoke Fire Door Provider…
So, what are the best fire doors for your organisation? RW Joinery has your bespoke solution. Looking for product solutions or costing advice? Contact us and we’ll scope your job and give you the pricing advice you need.