Fire doors are required by law in many different non-domestic buildings, including the following:
- House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
- Nursing Homes
- Public Buildings
- Entertainment Venues
In addition, smoke seals are recommended on doors approaching or protecting escape shafts such as stairs and corridors and where a door separates a private area from a common space such as a flat front door.
Where smoke seals are required, the threshold gap (at the bottom of the door) must be set at no more than 3 mm.
Fire doors save lives. Fire doors compartmentalise the building to delay the spread of fire throughout the building. They also limit the risk of smoke inhalation, which is the number one cause of fatalities in a fire.
In a compartment wall that separates buildings, the fire door must match the fire resistance period of the wall containing the door with a minimum period of 60 minutes (FD60). In all other situations, a 30-minute fire door (FD30) is normally allowed. Approved Document B identifies the rating of the door (e.g. FD30, FD60 etc.). The guidance refers to the use of 20-minute fire doors (FD20) in some circumstances. However, the BWF Fire Door Alliance Scheme recommends that any fire door should be designed to last a minimum of 30 minutes.
Any repairs or maintenance should be carried out by a professional to guarantee any repairs are properly installed.
The fire door must have proper certification, with the CE symbol attached and must close fully on its own.
Gaps around the door must be no bigger than 3mm on the sides and bottom of the fire door. Gaps in the door mean smoke can get in, which makes the door essentially useless.
Fire doors must be fitted with undamaged seals around the edges of the door and have a minimum of three hinges firmly fixed which are free from metal fragments and oil leakage.
Door closers installed at the top of the door must be fitted to ensure they automatically shut and fire doors must never be wedged open.