What is a fire door?
Fire doors are specialist doors are purpose-built to withstand fires for as long as possible. They enable buildings to compartmentalise and delay the spread of fire from one area to another and form a crucial part of a passive fire protection strategy.
Certified fire doors will be given a fire-resistance rating, which details the length of time the door set and its materials will be able to with stand smoke and fire depending on the rating.
Why do you need to provide fire doors?
- They are a legal requirement for flats which open onto communal areas shared with other tenants. This is to make sure crucial escape routes are protected if a fire breaks out.
- They are designed to automatically close behind you in the event of fire, holding flames back and stopping the spread of the fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors, and other flats in the block.
- They are specifically designed to withstand fire for up to 30 minutes.
- 75% of all fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation
- Over half of fire-related deaths occurred in rooms where the fire did not originate
- Smoke can fill a 20 by 20 by 20-foot room through a pencil sized hole in less than 4 minutes.
How long does a fire door protect you for?
There are different grades of fire door, and each one provides a different level of protection. The grades are separated by how long they can withstand fire. The most common types are FD30 (30 minutes), FD60 (60 minutes), FD90 (90 minutes) andFD120 (120 minutes). A fire door can also protect from smoke and will have the prefix FDS if it is also smoke rated.
The main aspect that differentiates the grades is the ‘certified core thickness’ of the doors. This is the core material of the door over which there can often be aesthetic layer of different material.
FD30and FD60 are generally used internally for offices and residential buildings. Any grades over FD60 are more common for the protection of highly valued properties or core infrastructures (for example, archives or server centres).
How do fire doors work?
Fire doors are fitted with intumescent strips in a groove on every edge of the door or fire door frame. When a fire breaks out, the heat causes the intumescent strips to expand to fill the gap between the fire door and the frame. This seals the room and stops the spread of fire for a given time.
Are intumescent strips required on fire doors?
Yes, intumescent fire seals are required on all fire doors. Newer doors and frames have a channel cut into them for rebated seals (if not supplied with seals already in place). For older doors, surface-mounted seals can be used instead.
What is a fire door inspection survey?
The survey and subsequent fully detailed report will outline the existing condition and adequacy of the fire door sets, and where necessary, recommend improvements that should be undertaken in order to make your buildings compliant with statutory requirements and best practice guidance, or to meet a specific business resilience objective.
Is a fire door inspection survey a legal requirement?
The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 made it a legal requirement from 23January 2023 for responsible persons for all multi-occupied residential buildings in England over 11 meters in height to:
- Undertake – on a best endeavour basis – annual checks of all flat entrance doors(including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts.
- Undertake quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts
The regulations also require responsible persons to provide to residents of all multi-occupied residential buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises (that have common parts) information on the importance of fire doors to a building’s fire safety.
Are fire door inspection surveys a legal requirement?
According to Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005,it is a legal requirement for businesses to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained at all times.
As there is no other way of ensuring that your fire doors remain fit for purpose, this makes regular fire door inspections a legal requirement. And as the Regulatory Fire Reform is applicable to all non-domestic buildings, your business falls under this legislation.
The report will outline the existing condition and adequacy of the fire door sets, and where necessary, recommend improvements that should be undertaken to make your buildings compliant with statutory requirements and best practice guidance, or to meet a specific business resilience objective.
What’s involved in a Fire Door Inspection Survey?
A fire door inspection survey is a comprehensive visual inspection of each fire resisting door set including:
- Overall condition fire doors - the fire resisting qualities of the fire door
- Gaps between door and frame - a review of the gaps between the leaf and frame – including the threshold for suitability
- Assessment of closer suitability and speed. a check of the fire door closing devices and their ability to effectively close the door sets
- Suitability and condition of intumescent and smoke seals. – an inspection of the intumescent strips
- Condition of hinges – the condition, fitting and operation of the hinges and hardware including fire resisting qualities of the fire door hinges
- Notional assessment and confirmation of either FD30, FDS30, FD60 or FDS60.
- Assessment of fire characteristics and suitability of letterboxes.
- Assessment and suitability of fire door signage.
- Glazing assessment either by etchings or notional assessment.
- Surround glazing assessment either by etchings or notional assessment.
- Glazed borrowed light assessment either by etchings or notional assessment.
- Door frame condition assessment.
- Door Jam condition assessment.
- Handle and furniture condition assessment
- A check of the condition and operation of any hold open devices
- A check for relevant markings, for example from the British Woodworking Federation to identify the fire rating of the door set
- An inspection of the locks and latches to ensure they are operational
- An inspection of any vision panels, glazing and review of their suitability
- An inspection of the cold smoke seals
- An assessment on the fire resisting qualities of the door set, including its thickness
- A visual inspection of the fire door frame
- A visual inspection of the door leaf
- A review of the materials used in the installation of the door set
How much does Fire Door Inspection Survey or FDIS cost in Sussex?
Dependent on the size and location of the building, our fire door inspection surveys can start from just £10 per door, and there are no hidden costs. Fire Door Inspection Survey costs in Sussex are on average £200-300. Which allows for surveyor, attendance and provision of full report. The finals costs will depend on location, access, the number of doors, and various other factors. Contact us www.summitenvironmental.co.uk/contact
How can Summit Environmental help you?
- Undertaking quarterly checks of all fire doors (including self-closing devices) in the common parts?
- Undertaking annual checks of all flat entrance doors (including self-closing devices) that lead onto a building’s common parts?
- Fire Door Inspections?
- Fire Risk Assessments?
- Compliance checks?