The anatomy of a fire door – and why it’s important

The anatomy of a fire door – and why it’s important

If you’re installing a fire door you need to ensure it is certified and that it carries the certificating labels that prove it is.  That’s what Fire Door Safety Week is all about – making sure you know you’ve got the right doors in the right places.

Fire doors have ratings – from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes – indicating for how long the door is expected to contain the fire.  Smoke seals also have the same time ratings.

That means that the materials that the door is made of are of real importance.  There are specifications that apply to the door frame, the hinges, closers, seals and glazing systems as well as the door itself.  Do you know if all these elements meet the required specs – and are all compatible?

Educating your people

Your staff need to know how long your fire doors are rated for, so that if a fire breaks out they will need to know the implication of being in the building if they are trying to help people out who may be injured, disabled or visiting.

They should understand that leaving a fire door propped open makes it useless and also can result in fines for their employer if they’ve done this.

Fire doors don’t just need to be made out of the right materials – they also need to be regularly checked to ensure they work properly, usually at the same time you test smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and other life-saving devices. 

The problem with a fire door is that testing for actual flame and smoke resistance is not feasible – that’s why every certified fire door is the result of a great deal of testing and careful construction.

How can you check your doors out?

Fire doors are not the most exciting subject to talk to staff about – but get them to imagine what it would be like when a fire is blasting down a corridor – with no door to stop it and no time to run to the fire exit.  You can be sure they’ll start taking things more seriously. 

Find out more about Fire Door Safety Week 15th-21st September 2014 or email for more information.