If you’ve ever wondered what the purpose of a fire door is, you’re in the right place. We explain how they work, the installation process, and when you might need one.
How They Work
There are very real differences between your typical doors and ones specifically built with fire safety in mind. In fact, it could be the difference between life and death.
Fire doors are designed to withstand fire for a certain timeframe, which is usually around thirty minutes.
It allows occupants time to vacate by blocking and containing the spread of the fire, and effectiveness is down to the material used in their making.
There are two methods of constructing fire doors.
The first is to have a core in the door itself made from something like flax board or a wood composite that will burn much slower than a typical door.
The second is a standard solid construction.
In either case, special seals activate when fire heat is detected, preventing smoke from seeping through the gaps in the frame.
Some fire doors may be covered in glass that is resistant to flames too, though this is not a requirement.
They will also have emergency exit mechanisms so you’re not hindered during a quick exit.
Fire Door Regulations
There are thousands of regulations around fire doors, so learning them all might be a bit of a task. However, some are more pertinent than others:
- A building must have a ‘Responsible Person’ required to manage risk assessments and checking that the fire doors function properly.
- Fire doors must offer the same fire resistance and standards as floors and walls.
- Smoke detection regulations are applied to fire doors too since systems are often integrated.
- Fire doors must also meet disability access regulations.
- Structures must be compliant too, otherwise, they will be unable to have fire doors fitted.
What Do Fire Doors Look Like?
When you think of a fire door, you picture it as rather cumbersome and covered in hazard colours such as red and yellow.
However, there are no regulations on what they have to look like.
There is a vast number of options to choose from when selecting your fire doors, including customisation options for glazing and finishes.
When purchasing one, most will come as a whole set with the frame and everything else included.
We strongly recommend this option, as you can be sure every part fits safely and is compatible. Remember, a poorly fitted fire door will not be effective.
When Do You Need a Fire Door?
Most commercial property regulations such as workplaces or large shopping centres will have them, as they hold a large volume of people daily.
Check with your building manager or insurance provider to see if you need one.
Fire doors are fitted inside a building, but you may see external fire doors leading to emergency shelters.
Installation and Testing
You can fit them yourself via the detailed instruction manual should always come with your purchase.
However, this can be rather complex if you’re not well an expert in DIY.
Therefore, any retailers and suppliers offer installation services, which is recommended if you think you would have trouble doing it yourself.
Fire doors are tested to the meet industry standards, so you shouldn’t worry about effectiveness if purchased from a legitimate source.
Get the Right Extinguisher Too
Now you know the importance of fire doors and how they work, you may be reflecting on your safety precautions. LifeSafe has spent years crafting a fast-working, effective extinguishing product - the StaySafe 5-in-1 Fire Extinguisher.
The aerosol extinguisher has 335ml of liquid used to put out fires in seconds.
What’s more, LifeSafe formula is the eco-friendliest option available. It leaves no toxic residue behind so there isn’t much to tidy up.
If you want to upgrade your home fire safety extinguisher, simply visit our homepage for more information.