A Fire doorset is a precisely designed and engineered component set that comprises of the door leaf, the door frame, hardware, intumescent seals and smoke seals.
Quite often, ‘fire doors’ and ‘fire doorsets’ are used interchangeably, intended to mean the same thing.
However, this is a common misconception we come across, and one that can lead to mistakes (and wasted time) during your product research process.
In this post, we uncover what a fire doorset is, what its functions are and why it’s strongly recommended that, in most cases, you specify the whole fire doorset – as opposed to only the fire door.
What is a fire doorset’s function?
Fire doorsets are required to perform three primary functions. They are:
-Protecting occupants – To protect escape routes from the effects of fire (including smoke) so occupants and users can exit safely.
-Protecting contents and/or building structure – by limiting the spread of the fire. This is also an insurance requirement.
-To permit firefighting – enabling fire fighters to control the fire.
Individual Components of a Fire Doorset
As stated in the introduction, a fire doorset package includes:
-The door leaf
-The door frame
-Intumescent seals and smoke seals
These components work together, and all play a critical role in the resistance of the fire doorset.
As such, any unauthorised changes in specification may have a detrimental impact on the performance of the whole door set, and any changes from the tested specification should only be made with the approval of an appropriate expert body.
To read more about purchasing component parts – and why it should be avoided – click here.
Key Terminology To Be Mindful Of
Doorsets – the door is supplied already hung in its frame, complete with all essential hardware and seals. This is the best way of buying and fitting a fire doorset.
Door kits – Similar to doorsets, door kits comprise of the door leaf and unassembled frame, sometimes factory prepared and ready for hanging. They come complete with compatible components but with the risk of error during site assembly.
Door leaves – another term for the door, these might be primed, veneered or painted.
Door blanks – oversized, unfinished door cores that require cutting to size. They will also require lipping and finishing. When they are converted to a doorset, there must be evidence of performance and as such, their specification must match the approval. This includes all components. If these are not fabricated by a certified manufacturer this option can prevent a significant risk to final certification.
Whilst this will vary according to doorset design, hardware will include:
-Latches and hinges
-Door closers (if/when required)
All hardware should be fitted according to the doorset manufacturer’s specifications, using intumescent gaskets and seals as necessary.
Non-essential hardware may also be fitted to the door face, whilst leaving its structure intact.
What Role Do Intumescent Seals Play In the Fire Doorset?
Intumescent seals expand with heat. This provides a fire stop. They are available in strips, papers & mastics, and their reaction and expansion properties vary – that’s why it’s important that the type, size and installation should remain exactly as tested for the end use application.
What About Smoke Seals?
You probably already know this, but smoke inhalation is the biggest cause of death in fires.
You should always consider smoke seals for additional safety – even if your client doesn’t request them on your project.
Smoke seals can be:
-Brushes that are built into the casing of the intumescent seal
-Flexible fins that are built into the casing of the intumescent seal
-Compression seals that are fitted into the frame rebate
-Automatic drop-down seals either face fixed or rebated into the bottom leaf, located at the threshold.
There you have it – a high level overview of the main components of a complete fire doorset.
As we continue to preach, purchasing the whole doorset from one manufacturer is the safest way to ensure certification, safety and compliance. We strongly advise against value engineering through component procurement and site assembly, as the risk is transferred from a certified manufacturer to yourself, making you responsible for any critical loss through fire doorset failure.
The same applies to installation – only select accredited installers. You can find out more about that here.
Need any advice or support? Don’t hesitate to speak with an expert today.