top of page
Fire in the building
Fire exit sign in a modern building

FIRE SAFETY ADVICE IN THE NORTH EAST

Stay informed with the

Fire Door Inspection Service

FIRE DOOR INSPECTION UPDATES

Explore the latest insights, industry trends, and expert advice on fire safety, compliance, and more. Our FAQ is your first stop for staying informed about the critical aspects of maintaining a secure environment.

 

Avoid legal pitfalls and simplify the administrative side of fire safety with the Fire Door Inspection Service. We cover everything from in-depth guides on fire door inspections to news on regulatory changes, so stay tuned for regular updates.

Whether you have a question, would like more information, or need fire safety advice, please contact us. Ready to book your inspection? Call now on 07908 031196.

FAQ & INFORMATION

TIMBER FIRE DOORS & COMPONENTS

 

 

1) What is the definition of a fire door set? A door provided for the passage of persons, air, or objects, together with its frame, furniture, etc. and suitable supporting construction, is intended (when closed) to resist the spread of fire and/or gaseous products of combustion and is capable of meeting the specified performance criteria to those ends; usually supplied by one manufacturer or supplier.

2) What is the definition of a fire door assembly?

A door leaf, frame seals, etc that may originate from various suppliers.

 

3) Is a final exit door required to be a fire rated door?

There is no requirement for a final exit door to be fire rated

4) What is required to be checked for functionality of a final exit door?

Ease of operation, signage, clear & safe.

5) What are the main functions of a fire door set?

To restrict the spread of fire & smoke by maintaining the fire separation of compartments, separating walls & shafts or service ducts that penetrate compartment floors.

 

Protect escape routes allowing people to escape.

Restrict the initial development of the fire, restricting the amount of oxygen feeding the fire.

6) What type of threshold seals are recommended to close the gap at the threshold of a door leaf & also that resistance is not excessive during door operation & can be faced fixed or concealed within the bottom of the door.?

An automatic drop down seal.

7) How much is allowed to be trimmed off the edges of a fire door?

Check the door manufacturers instructions (commonly) 3mm.

8) What is the difference between the fire testing of a door set & the certification of a door set?

A certificated door set will have been independently &/or assessed but also the manufacturing process is checked by an independent certification body to ensure manufacturing consistency & traceability. A fire test is exposure to a heating regime, known as a fire resistance test to determine the ability to maintain fire separation, from which comes a fire test report.

9) What is the main function of a final exit/escape door?

Allow people to escape from a building & reach a place of safety

10) If a fire door is required for a duct cupboard under a stair for instance, can the leaf be cut to fit the opening on site.?

No, the leaf cannot be cut to fit on site. The door leaf would then be classified as modified & the fire test cert is invalid, the door must be manufactured to size by a manufacturer.

11) Do smoke sealing fins or brushes need to make contact with the door or frame to be affective?

Yes.

12) What is the maximum permitted clearance of leaf to frame?

4mm.

13) Timber system, screens & door design 30 & 60-min?

Both 30 & 60 min timber systems require to be carefully designed due to degradation. The type of timber, section thickness, fixings & bead shapes must be all specified in detail. Where 60-min timber fire doors & screens are required, additional detailing will be needed because of the increased fire exposure time.

14) Timber density Hardwood, charring rates?

The following can be taken as general charring rates of timber. Harwood used in fire resistant glazed system generally have densities more than 630kg/m3 with typical charring rates of 0.5mm/min eg- Sapele, dark red Maranti, Iroko.

Note: Ash & beech may not reach the same burning characteristics of hardwoods above, fire test evidence should be referred to prior to specifying timber species, to ensure performance.

15) Timber density Softwood, charring rates?

Softwood used in fire resistant glazed system generally have a density of 480kg/m3 with typical charring rates of 0.7mm/min.

E.g.- European Redwood.

Note: some softwoods may not reach the required density which will char faster than 0.7mm, must be used in larger sections to achieve the required fire resistance period. E.g. Douglas Fir.

FIRE DOOR STANDARDS & REGULATIONS

1) What is the British & European fire test standards for fire doors?
BS 476 part 22,  BSEN 1634 part 1

2) What are the British & European standards for smoke testing?
BS 476 part 31.1,  BSEN 1634 part 3 

3 Which British standard is the code of practice for fire safety in the design,  management & use of buildings?
BS9999 

4) What is the BS EN standards for door closers?
BSEN 1154, BSEN 1155 (powered door controls)

5) what do the cpd markings on a door closer manufactured for a fire door mean?                                              

                                        e.g.      4   |   8   |  3/ 5  |  1   |  1   |   4

1st digit- No 4= opening angle 4=180'  3=105'
2nd digit- No 8= cycles (only 8 permitted, 8=5000,000 cycles)
3rd digit- No 5/3= power grades of closer= grades 3-5
4th digit- No1= suitable for fire doors (only 1 or 0, 0 is not suitable for fire doors)
5th digit- No1= safety (only 1 permitted)
6th digit- No4= corrosion resistance ( grade 0= no  resistance, 4 = very high resistance


6) what are the BS EN standards for hardware for fire doors?
Hinges = BS EN 1935,  Emergency exit devices = BS EN 179,  Panic exit devices = BS EN 1125, Cylinders= BS EN 1303
Locks= BS EN 12209,  Door coordinator= BS EN 1158,  Door Bolts= BS EN 12051, Levered handle/Knobs=BS EN 1906 gr3,
Door closers= BS EN 1154, Powered door control eg swing free & hold open= BS EN 1155.


7) What is the UK/CA marking.
UK/CA marking  for manufactured products supplied to the GB market will be required before 1st January 2024  to be  remarked, tested & certificated to meet the required standards for  what it is intended.
Construction products can continue to use the CE marking. But the intention is to end recognition of the CE mark in GB on 30 June 2025.
If your product has been placed on the GB market before 11pm on 31 December 2024, it does not need to be remarked or recertified to UKCA requirements & can circulate on the GB market until it reaches its end user.   


8) Regulatory reform (fire safety act)
This is aimed particularly at the building owner & responsible person- fire risk assessments must consider external walls & all fire doors, & the competency for those involved in the process & its documentation. Tougher financial penalties are also a feature of the new reform.

9) What does the new building safety act mean for residents of higher risk buildings & homeowners.
Residents will have more say in how their building is kept safe & will be able to raise building safety concerns directly to the owners & managers of their buildings who are responsible for repairing the common parts of a higher risk building. If residents feel their concerns are being ignored they can raise them with the Building Safety Regulator- Health & Safety Executive (H.S.E)

10) What does the building safety act mean for building owners.
Accountable persons will need to demonstrate that they have effective, proportionate measures in place to manage building safety risks for which they are responsible. Those who do not meet their obligations may face criminal charges.

11) Does the building safety act apply to all buildings.
The responsibility for competence applies to all building works subject to building regulations, the act also puts specific controls in place for higher risk residential buildings (HHRB). HHRB are buildings over 18m or have seven or more storeys & two or more residential units ( typically high rise apartment blocks, student accommodation, hospitals & care homes).

12) What are the main points of interest in the building safety act.

a)Competence- the responsibility on clients, designers & contractors to be competent to ensure compliance with building regulations.

b) The golden thread- in basic terms, a digital & always accessible - audit trail of data throughout the life span of the building.

c) Duty Holder Clarifications- Definitive responsibilities will be assigned to the full spectrum of duty holders involved in the building project- the client, principle designer, designer & contractor. Effectively, anyone who might create a risk during their contribution to a construction or refurbishment- whether as an individual or via multi- disciplinary service provider, will be expected to manage that risk & its associated compliance demands. Those who commission BLDG work & participate in design & construction take responsibility for ensuring building is carefully considered throughout the project & the building is fully compliant with building regulations

d) Accountability Definitions- The accountable person who manages the building post build. This individual is accountable for registering the BLDG with the building regulator (H.S.E) & regularly logging information about the building to reviewing risk assessments. All existing BLDG over 18m or 7 storeys or more with two or more residences will need to be registered  with the building regulator. The accountable person will then be invited to submit their safety management system for consideration by the regulator.

e) Gateway Concept-  The building safety act introduces the Gateway approach for the building, all building works, new build, extensions, refurbishment will be subject to the control of the building safety regulator and the gateway approach


 
GLAZING & COMPONENTS

1) WHAT IS INTEGRITY GLASS?
Integrity is the ability to withstand fire exposure on one side without transmission of fire as a result of the passage of flames or hot gases. An integrity barrier acts in effect to physically stop fire movement. Alternatively, integrity may be referred to as non insulating.

2) WHAT IS INSULATED GLASS?
Insulated is the ability to withstand fire exposure on one side without the transition of fire to the unexposed side by limiting heat transfer due to conduction, convection or radiation (in addition to integrity) 
Note: Fire performance insulation must not be confused with energy insulation glass.


3)GOLDEN RULE FOR FIRE RESISTANT GLAZING
Fire resisting glass must only be used as part of a fire resistant glazing system- which includes the glass, glazing seals, glazing beads, fixings and frame.

4)WHAT INFORMATION MUST BE INSTALLED ON THE FIRE RATED GLAZING?
A permanent stamp on the glass that indicates as a minimum, the name of the glass product & the manufacturer/supplier & ideally the fire performance rating, the impact performance class where applicable i.e.- 1,2 or 3 according to BS6262-4 &BSEN 12600.

5)WHAT MARKINGS INDICATE THE TYPE OF PERFORMANCE OF A GLAZING UNIT
European/UK classification BSEN13501-2-  I = Insulated, E= Integrity, W= Radiation
eg: E30=integrity only for 30mins. EW30= Integrity & radiation protection for 30mins.  EI30= Insulation & integrity for 30mins


6)FIRE RESISTANT GLAZING SEALS (intumescent)
Intumescent glazing seals are based on materials that expand & foam on exposure to heat. The degree of intumescent & the expansion pressure vary according to the material & its formulation. Sodium silicate, expandable graphite & ammonium polyphosphate materials are available: all of which required different glazing techniques. Therefore the test data should be consulted & the product installed in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

7)TYPES OF INTUMESCENT GLAZING SEALS.
Sodium silicate (liner)   STRIP- Ammonium Phosphate, Graphite, Vermiculite. 
Note: for a 60-min fire rating a glazing liner is usually installed around the whole glazing aperture.


8) FIRE RESISTANT GLAZING SEALS (non intumescent)
These seal types are composed of materials that are non reactive when exposed to heat (such as mineral fibre products) or those which show only minimal or modest expansion. Because of these manufacturers or third party test evidence must be followed.

9)TYPES OF NON INTUMESCENT GLAZING SEALS.
a)Mineral or Ceramic Fibre (strip) (b) Elastomeric Gasket (channel) (c)Abrasive Seals (mastic) 
Note: for 60-min rating a glazing liner is usually installed around the whole glazing aperture.


10)KEY RULES FOR GLAZING SEALS
The seals must be compatible with the other system components, especially the fire resistant glass. There must be appropriate evidence of fire performance of the glazed system in all cases. One seal must not be substituted for another without appropriate evidence. Suitable seals can be intumescent or non intumescent based & are available in a variety of forms.

11) WHY IS THERE A REQUIREMENT FOR GLAZING BEADS WITH INTEGRITY ONLY GLASS TO BE CHAMFERED.
This is to reduce the risk of bead ignition on the unexposed face due to transmitted radiant heat. The chamfer reduces the exposed surface area & the radiant heat intensity on the top of the bead.

12) REPLACEMENT OF FIRE RESISTANT GLAZING.
Any refurbishment involving replacement of components must be carried out to the original specification of the fire resistant system installed. Providing the fire risk has not changed. The O&M manuals/files must be consulted & components replaced as the original material as specified. If the original components cannot be replaced with the same then the complete glazing system must be replaced with an equivalent system. It should be recognised that it may not be possible to follow the best practice, for a number of valid reasons such as:
(A) The required spec may not be available, or maybe unclear
(B) Markings on the glass maybe absent or unreadable.
(C) Some of the components may no longer be available.
(D) In some buildings such as historic & heritage buildings, current practice & regulation covering fire safety is likely to be different from any which might have applied when the building was constructed.

Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.

Need more information on fire door safety?

Call us on 07908 031196 or email georgedrayton@fdiservice.uk

bottom of page