Fire doors should be inspected on average once every 6 months. Like all fire protection products, the material inside is degradable and can become less effective over time.
Fire Doors are an especially important part of a fire protection system. They act as a barrier between different areas of the building, while still allowing occupants to open and close them.
Table of Contents
What is a Fire Door?
Fire Doors are an abbreviation of Fire Resistant Doors. The purpose of the door, its frame and its hardware are to allow for people and goods to able to pass through a fire cavity wall without reducing the fire resistance integrity.
Fire-resistant doors will only work if it’s closed which is why most doors come with an auto-close mechanism. When closed a fire door will impede and slow both fire and smoke.
A fire door is a passive fire prevention method as it doesn’t require any electronic or human intervention to function. Also, the purpose of a fire door is to slow a fire and not actively attempt to detect or extinguish it.
Fire Doors typically consist of several elements. They are the door leaf, seals, ironmongery (hinges, lock/latch, automatic or manually activated door closer) and glazing
Why do you need to inspect and maintain your fire doors?
Fire doors are by far one of the most important components of a fire protection system and therefore require regular inspections. The maximum period between inspections should ideally be 3 months but a lot of companies find 6 months to be sufficient.
If your fire door is not functioning properly it is always best to consult a passive fire protection specialist. But there are a few areas you can check yourself regularly.
A fire door only works if it is closed, so one of the most important checks is that it closes correctly and fully. If you have an automatic door, it’s important to check the mechanical aspects that shut the door are working correctly and well maintained.
All fire-resistant doors come with a certification which confirms they are suitable to protect your premises in the event of a fire. Invariably fire doors will have a sticker at the top of the door. This sticker will confirm if the door is certified and when the certification was issued.
Fire doors are equipped with intumescent strips. When exposed to extreme temperatures, these strips expand to create a seal that prevents smoke or flames from passing through the cavity wall.
Regular inspections of the seals should be conducted to ensure none of the seals are raised or deteriorated.
It’s important to regularly inspect hinges, ensure there are no missing screws or splintered wood and the door is fixed well to its frame.
Check for Gaps
A fire-resistant door is a barrier that acts as a seal in the event of a fire. Any gaps will reduce or nullify the door’s effectiveness. Regular inspections of the door will allow you to remedy the problem if gaps or bowing occur.
The Law as it stands
Fire prevention is one of the first things a property owner should consider. Not only does it protect the building but potentially the occupants inside. Dublin City Council has laid out the following Fire Safety Guidance.
Fire Doors should be installed in any Fire cavity wall where access between two parts of the building is required. The door should meet the following criteria:
The door and its frame fitted as one complete unit conforming to BS 476: Parts 22 and 31.
The door, or frame, should be fitted with an intumescent strip and cold smoke seal, normally on all four sides. The gap at the base of the door should not exceed 8mm
The door fixings and furniture are to be suitably fire-resisting and the door closure device is to conform to BS EN 1154
Any safety product in the EEA (European Economic Area) that provides health or safety products must be CE accredited. This includes all fire safety products such as fire doors, extinguishers and sprinkler systems. The CE certification signifies that the products sold in the EEA have been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements.
Testing, Assessment and Certification
Fire doors require documented proof of their performance. This proof can take the form of a single test report, multiple test reports, an accredited organisation’s assessment,
To meet Irish Building Regulations, fire doors undergo testing as a complete door assembly according to standards BS476 Pt22 or BS EN 1634-1.
**It’s important to note that a test report is not equivalent to a certificate, as it merely evaluates the door’s performance under controlled laboratory conditions.
Fire Door Inspection Compliance
For a Fire Door to be effective and subsequently receive accreditation it must meet an exhaustive list of specific requirements:
Fire Doors should be marked and carry the appropriate signage. The signage needs to comply with BS 5499-10:2014.
Fire door frames should not be more than 30mm thick for FD 30S doors and 44mm thick for FD60S.
The frame of the door and its threshold gaps should be 3mm+/- 1mm at door to frame and 8-10mm at the threshold from the floor covering to the door unless a smoke seal is present. This can only be disregarded if specified on the test certificate.
Properties in Ireland should always keep a record of all inspections and maintenance of fire doors to comply with current regulations but most importantly to keep people and property safe. It is advisable to keep all records in the property’s fire safety manual.
Glazing in doors and screens should comply with the “minimum impact” safety regulations.. Glass should be marked to inform its rating. Glass should be tested for 30,60 or 120 minutes and tested to EN 1634-1.
All fire door components should be tagged with ID to record the manufacturer’s details. All fire doors should have a metal identification tag. The tag should at no point be covered, obstructed from view or painted over.
All doors should be CE Accredited with the certification showing.
To ensure fire safety, any gaps between the back of the door frame and the wall must be sealed using a fire-tested joint design that can provide evidence of its performance, such as intumescent mastic with the correct depth-to-width ratio. The use of fire-rated foam is only acceptable if you have supporting documentation,
Why are Fire Door Inspections Important?
Fire Resistant Doors are so important because they act as a barrier which is as effective as a firewall while simultaneously allowing access between areas in a building(s). Fire doors are considered critical in any fire protection system.
If a fire cavity wall was to have a standard door or the fire door was left open in the event of a fire, the cavity wall would be rendered useless.
Fire Protection Installers Dublin
Firestoppers is Ireland’s leading passive fire protection system installer. We have helped countless property owners in Dublin and across Ireland protect their property staff and businesses.
If you are unsure if your Fire Doors meet the accredited standard or if you are thinking of improving your current fire safety inventory, then the experienced team at Firestoppers can help.
Why not contact us today for a free quote and fire safety audit?