Put simply, determining whether you’ll need an FD30, FD60 or any other fire door resistance is the responsibility of your designer, together with their fire officer and building control officer. They will review all means of escape, including active and passive fire protection.
And fire doorsets are a robust form of passive fire protection.
In this post, we outline some of the main contributory factors in determining what type of fire doorset you’ll need.
Read on to find out more…
Compartmentalisation & Determining Fire Resistance
Fire doorsets are classed as the ‘fire compartmentalisation’ system, along with the walls, floors and ceilings.
Fire compartments can be classified in a variety of ways. They could be a single room, a number of rooms or a corridor. For example, a single flat in an apartment block, an escape corridor in a school or a staircase in an office building.
In the above instances, a fire door will be needed as they all demonstrate where access to a fire compartment is necessary.
It is most common in the above examples for fire doors to be specified as FD30 (providing 30 minutes’ fire resistance) as they all lead to escape routes. However, there may be cases when higher fire ratings are necessary, and therefore a fire doorset with a higher resistance will be specified.
Determining FD30 or FD60 Fire Doorsets
There are many factors that contribute to the risk of fire. These include (but are not limited to):
– Whether conditions could support ignition and fuelling of a fire (i.e are there combustible materials/chemicals in use?)
– Accounting for particular needs in an emergency (PEEPS) Therefore, in situations where the Building Regulations apply, the requirements for Approved Document B must be met. This is a minimum requirement.
Understanding Building Regulations
Put simply, when a building is designed – whether new build or for change of use – the fire safety will be part of the design requirements. This will be necessary to comply with local Building Regulations.
Once complete, the owners or managers of the building will have a statutory building to comply with fire safety law.
The size, use and complexity of the building will be determining factors as to how the requirements may be met.
If the escape route is straightforward, there may be no need for a fire-rated doorset at all. However, a complex building – or a building where users require assistance to escape – then fire doors with higher ratings may be necessary.
In Appendix B: Fire Doors of Approved Document B: Fire Safety, Table B1 states minimum requirements for fire doors depending on the position of the door in the building. As an example, it is currently required that a fire door in a compartment wall separating two buildings should provide 60 minutes of fire protection. In contrast, a fire door affording access to an escape route should provide 30 minutes, as stated previously.
Are fire doors required on flat entrances?
Table B1 also states that fire doors on flat entrances should provide 30 minutes of protection and those opening onto an entrance lobby inside individual flats to provide 20 minutes.
What about other building types?
Other guidance for various building types is available. An example of this is the ‘Healthcare Technical Manuals’. These deal with fire safety in ‘HTM05’ and doors in ‘HTM58’.
In other words, it’s important to note that whilst a staircase or cross-corridor in a block of flats might only require FD30, a hospital with a similar set up might require FD60.
As you can see, there is no simple answer to, “Will I Need an FD30 or FD60 Fire Door?”, as so many factors are at play, including the size, use and type of building and the location of the fire doorset itself.
It’s also important to note that the complexity in determining the means of escape must only be detailed by competent persons. Whilst we cannot assist you with your fire plans, we can assist you with writing specifications to achieve the correct performance of your fire doorsets.
So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.