Fire Door Checklist

Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Despite this, fire doors remain a significant area of neglect and are often the first thing to be downgraded in a specification or mismanaged throughout their service life.

Here’s our checklist to help you specify the correct fire doors and keep them in tip top condition:

  • Always use a reputable and competent supplier – many people claim to make fire doors, but only a handful have a properly tested product which is proven to work in a fire.
  • Ask whether the product has been fire tested and demand to see the documentation that proves it (e.g. fire certificate or label).
  • Make sure test evidence is from a UKAS-accredited test centre
  • Specifying fire doors with intumescent seals is crucial to prevent smoke inhalation in the event of a fire.
  • It’s not just the door itself that matters. The frame and ironmongery is just as important – they all work together. Only buy exact compatible hardware and components from the same reputable supplier, also making sure that the ironmongery also meets the relevant fire test standard as well
  • Correct installation is as important as buying the correct product – fire doors are a carefully engineered fire safety device which must be fitted correctly so make sure you use experienced installers from a reputable company.
  • Ask for the fire door to be installed and then certified using a 3rd-party approved certification programme, such as BM Trada
  • Fire doors should be checked and maintained regularly, to ensure that they still work and perform as intended
  • Make sure you use an experienced door company to manage the servicing and maintenance of your fire doors, using a 3rd-party approved certification programme, such as BM Trada
  • Only ever replace damaged components with like-for-like. A suitably trained individual should be responsible for this maintenance work.

For our full range of Fire doors and for additional information contact us or take a look at Fire Doors | Dortek

 Dortek’s Guide To Fire Door Safety

Fire doors are one of the most critical elements of fire protection. They are used to provide compartmentation – in other words, containing fire and smoke for a period of time to allow people to be safely rescued and evacuated.

Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Despite this, fire doors remain a significant area of neglect and are often the first thing to be downgraded in a specification or mismanaged throughout their service life.

A review undertaken by FDIS certificated fire door inspectors earlier this year revealed the extent of fire door failures being seen on site:

  • Over 61% of fire doors inspected had problems with fire or smoke seals
  • More than a third had incorrect signage
  • 230 fire doors inspected had gaps bigger than 3mm between door and frame
  • More than 20% had unsuitable hinges
  • Almost 1 in 6 had damage to the door leaf.

(Source: FDIS 32)

The most common identified cause of death from a fire incident is being overcome by gas, smoke or toxic fumes. Suffering from the effects of gas or smoke also accounted for one-fifth of all non-fatal casualties in 2013-14. (Source: Gov.uk) This reinforces the importance of properly specified, installed and maintained fire doors with intumescent seals that keep smoke from leaking around the edges of a fire door.

Dortek Fire Doors, sectional doors, stacking doors

Here’s our checklist to help you specify the correct fire doors and keep them in tip top condition:

  • Always use a reputable and competent supplier – many people claim to make fire doors, but only a handful have a properly tested product which is proven to work in a fire.
  • Ask whether the product has been fire tested and demand to see the documentation that proves it (e.g. fire certificate or label).
  • Specifying fire doors with intumescent seals is crucial to prevent smoke inhalation in the event of a fire.
  • It’s not just the door itself that matters. The frame and ironmongery is just as important – they all work together. Only buy exact compatible hardware and components from the same reputable supplier.
  • Saving a few pounds on fire doors isn’t worth it. Consider the cost of damage and loss of life if a fire breaks out. Stick to the specification at all times.
  • Correct installation is as important as buying the correct product – fire doors are a carefully engineered fire safety device which must be fitted correctly so make sure you use experienced installers from a reputable company.
  • Fire doors should be checked regularly, and the more they’re used the more frequently they should be checked.
  • Make sure you use an experienced door company to manage the servicing and maintenance of your fire doors.
  • Only ever replace damaged components with like-for-like. A trained individual should be responsible for this maintenance work.

Proud Supporters of Fire Door Safety Week 2020

Dortek are proud to support Fire Door Safety Week, which runs from 21 – 27th September this year.

Fire door safety week is designed to raise awareness and highlight the critical role that fire doors play in commercial and public buildings. The awareness week aims to promote the critical role of fire doors, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.

Dortek are market leading manufacturers of high performance vermiculite-cored fire doors. Our doors are designed, tested and certified to meet the most stringent fire certifications. We can achieve a 5 hour fire rating and our door systems are tested to meet over 50 specifications compliant with worldwide regulations.

If you’d like more technical information about our fire doors, please contact your local office where a member of our team will be happy to assist.

For updates on the campaign and the many events scheduled throughout the week, follow Fire Door Safety Week on Twitter or search for tweets with #FireDoorSafetyWeek. To find out more about Fire Door Safety Week visit here – https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/about/

fire door safety week dortek fire doors 20

 

Specifying & Maintaining Fire Resisting Door Sets – Best Practice

Fire resistance is one of the most fundamental performance criteria for door sets. Fire doors are often the first line of defence in a fire and their correct specification, maintenance and management can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. So it’s essential to get the correct product. 

The selection and installation of a fire resisting door set which is fire tested and proven compliant by a third party UKAS approved/TUV laboratory is not only incredibly important, its mandatory. A fire door is much more than just a door leaf. The door leaf, the frame, the hinges, the fittings, the hardware, the glass in the vision panels and the seals are all dependent upon each other, to ensure the effectiveness of the door in a fire. The full door assembly must be fire tested as a combination of all elements together, rather than each component individually.

Using doors that have third party fire tested proven compliance also gives specifiers confidence that a product is fit for purpose and is manufactured using a clear quality system. In addition, the specifier will have guaranteed third party fire test documentation that proves the fire performance has been independently verified, which is important for installers, inspectors and clients to ensure the relevant standards have been met.

Intumescent Seals

On average 388 people are killed and 11,100 are injured in fires each year in the UK alone. The most common identified cause of death from a fire incident is being overcome by gas, smoke or toxic fumes. The majority of these deaths, injuries and losses occur in buildings where fire and smoke protection measures have been inadequate.

Door edges are the part of a door-set most susceptible to penetration by fire. The pressure of a developed fire, drives hot gases between the door and frame leading to loss of integrity. The modern solution to this problem relies on the use of intumescent materials applied or set into the edge of doors or door frames opposite the door edge. Intumescent materials expand at around 180°C to several times their original size and fill the gap between the door and the frame, providing a barrier to the passage of hot gasses fumes and smoke.

This reinforces the importance of properly specified, installed and maintained fire doors with intumescent seals that prevent the spread of fire and keep smoke from leaking around the edges of the door.

Installation

Once the specifier has selected their fire tested BS/EN/SS compliant fire door it’s also important to make sure it is fitted correctly. The smallest gap or void between the door and frame can cause smoke or flames to escape and compromise the doors fire resistance. A certificated 30 minute fire doorset which is incorrectly installed may only provide 5-10 minutes of fire resistance. For this reason specifiers should always use professional installers who are fully trained.

Maintenance

All fire doors, hardware and fittings must remain in efficient working order at all times. Fire doors are often in high traffic areas and are opened and closed many times a day. For this reason, it is important that doors and components are inspected regularly and are repaired where necessary to a satisfactory standard. The frequency of inspection may vary, depending on the type and day-to-day use of a door.

Dortek Fire Doors, sectional doors, stacking doors

Here’s our check List in summary for specifying and maintaining fire doors:

  • Always use a reputable and competent supplier – many people claim to make fire doors, but only a handful have a properly tested product which is proven to work in a fire.
  • Ask whether the product has been fire tested by a third party approved laboratory and demand to see the documentation that proves it (e.g. fire test report/certificate/Label).
  • Specifying fire doors with intumescent/smoke seals is crucial to stop fire spreading and prevent smoke inhalation.
  • It’s not just the door itself that matters. The frame and ironmongery is just as important – they all work together. Only buy exact compatible hardware and components from the same reputable supplier.
  • Saving a few pounds on fire doors isn’t worth it. Consider the cost of damage and loss of life if a fire breaks out. Stick to the specification at all times.
  • Correct installation is as important as buying the correct product – fire doors are a carefully engineered fire safety device which must be fitted correctly so make sure you use experienced installers from a reputable company.
  • Fire doors should be checked regularly, and the more they’re used the more frequently they should be checked.
  • Make sure you use an experienced door company to manage the servicing and maintenance of your fire doors.
  • Only ever replace damaged components with like-for-like. A trained individual should be responsible for this maintenance work.

For further information on Dortek’s range of fire doors and worldwide certification click here

Dortek Fire Doors – Tried and Tested to the most Stringent Standards

Dortek have recently successfully tested our maximum sized fire doors in both directions of exposure. The door opening away from the furnace achieved an impressive 4 hours and 20 minutes, which is the maximum time span in fire testing regulations. The door opening into the furnace achieved 2 hours 48 minutes.

Most companies only test their doors in one opening direction but at Dortek we’re committed to testing our doors to meet the most stringent standards. Our fire doors are continuously tested to ensure they achieve the latest certification in each of the countries where they are installed. If you’d like more information on our range of fire doors please contact us at your local Dortek office or visit our fire doors page.

dortek fire test

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