Why You Need to Care About Fire Doors

Fire doors are a critical element in fire safety and are required in every commercial, public, and multiple occupancy buildings.  People rely on them to provide crucial protection of escape routes in the event of a fire; they may also be used to isolate fire hazards in a building.

Fire doors can mean the difference between you getting out alive or being seriously injured.  Not only do they withhold flames, but they also protect you from toxic smoke.  Think of the discomfort you experience when standing too close to a campfire or barbecue, the sting in your eyes and scratchiness at the back of your throat.  Building fires are much more than a brief irritant—the flames release chemicals of everything it consumes and the smoke carries them through the building.  Smoke kills you much quicker than the fire itself, rooms without fire doors will be filled quickly making anyone caught up in it dizzy and disorientated to the point of unconsciousness.  Properly installed fire doors make the difference that help people get out from fires alive.

Checklist for Proper Installation

So how do you know a fire door is installed properly, or even a fire door in the first place?  Make sure you have a good carpenter fit your fire doors as this is a crucial aspect to their effectiveness.  There’s a few key things you have to look for.

  1. Look for labels or markings that show the door has been certified by a a third-party and is traceable back to the manufacturer.  A major benefit when buying Deanta fire doors is that you can be sure they’ve been extensively tested and accredited by Chiltern International Fire.
  2. Check that the door closes with a consistent gap, no more than 3mm, and has a fire and smoke seal.  These prevent smoke spreading by covering the space between the door and the frame, and around any glass that the door may have.
  3. Look at the door hardware for a proper fit and CE mark.  Check the hinges, door closing device, locks, and handles.  All parts must operate smoothly and return to closed positions after use.  All items with the CE mark are cleared for mechanical stability, fire safety, heath and environmental safety, sound protection, and energy efficiency.
  4. Make sure the door is not damaged or propped open in any way as this will make the door ineffective for its purpose.  Try and unblock the door so it can close completely, if there is damage you cannot simply fix, report it to the building custodian or manager.

Obtaining Fire Safety Certificates

Fire Safety Certificates are issued by the Building Control Authority and state that the works or building comply with the requirements of Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997.  The Technical Guidance Document B of the Building Regulations requires fire doorsets in public or multi-occupancy works.  Building without a Fire Safety Certificate can lead to prosecution under building control legislation.  In the case of selling a premise, the purchasing party’s solicitor will likely look for a copy of your Fire Safety Certificate.  Not only will not having one make your building difficult to sell, it will probably cause difficulties in obtaining/renewing one due to the period of uncertification.

Fire Door Safety Week

Fire doors are often our first line of defense in a fire, but unfortunately have been the last thought of many developers.  Fire door safety week began in 2013 to raise awareness of this neglect and educate the public.  We are encouraging property owners to properly protect their building and its inhabitants and for the public to report on unsatisfactory doors, for their own safety.

Deanta Doors support this initiative and have our own fire rated doors.  Lasting 30 minutes or more, we have tested a range of our products so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics for the sake of safety.  Our collection of fire doors is at 30, and growing, check them all out here.  If you wish to know even more about fire doors, read our full report here.