Let’s say straight away that this is not a task to be undertaken by the typical DIY’er. You or I might be able to hang a normal interior door. If there’s a bit of a gap between the door and the frame then it might get a bit draughty in the winter, however, a badly fitted fire door could cost the life of one or more of your family members.
So we’ve determined that this isn’t a job that can be bodged, it needs to be done by competent personnel. It isn’t the job of this website to delve deeply into the building regulations that might have some relevance to fire doors and their associated components, you’ll find lots of technical information on how fire doors are affected by building regulations on the BWF Certifire site.
This next video offers some top tips for fitters and carpenters when they are installing a fire door.
– Top tips for installing a fire door
Please bear in mind that a number of planning authorities insist that intumescent smoke and fire seals are fitted to the sides and top of any internal fire doors. They might also require that door stops be 25mm thick and they might also insist that some type of door closer be fitted. Finally, hinges also have to be fire door approved, they need to have eight screws (all fitted) and there has to be three hinges on each internal fire door.
For any door to open and close correctly, the door leaf (i.e. the actual door) must be free to move within the frame. To achieve this there needs to be a gap around the door edge which could reduce the ability of the door to control the spread of fire. When intumescent seals become hot, they expand to fill that gap, thus preventing the ingress of smoke and fumes into the room.
When working on site it is virtually impossible to guarantee the accuracy and precision of a laboratory test. Gaps around doors will be larger and inconsistent – the door frames may be uneven or slightly out of square. Intumescent seals are used to fill those gaps and ensure that your fire resistant door does its job correctly. They expand between 5-10 times their original size, sealing the gaps around the perimeter of the door and holding the door construction firmly in place.
Let’s end this page with a few fire door facts :-
- About 3 million new fire doors are bought and installed every year in the UK
- The vast majority of fire doors are made from timber
- In a survey among fire risk assessors, 80% of escape routes were obstructed, 65% of fire doors were wedged open and 85% had door closers disconnected
- Leaving fire doors wedged or propped open disregards the safety of others. In any public building it is also against the law.
- In a recent review of 100 cases prosecuted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, fire doors were the second highest reason for prosecutions against the owners or people running public buildings
- Some fire doors may also need smoke seals and/or acoustic seals
- Essential ironmongery for fire doors must be CE marked even though fire doors themselves don’t need to be (yet)