WHO NEEDS FIRE DOORS?
Doors are constructed of many different materials and methods these days and so will burn at different rates. Therefore they will provide different levels of protection against the spread of fire but what the consumer needs when purchasing fire safety products is reliable consistency. Something that can give the purchaser peace of mind that the label boasting a products safety credentials is something rigorously tested, meticulously enforced and therefore worth having. With this in mind there was a need for the authorities to regulate and certificate different doors regarding their fire protection properties. They needed to apply minimum standards for the branding of fire resistant doors as part of UK building regulations to reduce the confusion for consumers and building managers.
Generally speaking fire doors are not required by law in residential homes unless they are rented out for tenant accommodation in which case there are regulations regarding multiple occupancy properties. Planning and building regulations regarding fire doors do however apply to doorways between houses with an adjacent garage and buildings of three or more storeys, including loft conversions, as there is considered to be an increased risk of fire or problems regarding escape. There are hundreds of pages of government fire safety advice for the home owner and we wouldn’t dilute the precisely worded message by summarising them in this small article so please check out the government advice here. Every home is different and it is ultimately the duty of the responsible home owner to fit fire doors where fire safety is a heightened risk. Any home alteration project should include a fire risk assessment and if in doubt go for the safest option.
DO ONLY RATED FIRE DOORS OFFER PROTECTION ?
Some non fire rated doors do offer some protection against fire if properly fitted simply because they will prevent the spread of smoke between rooms and provided smoke alarms have been fitted this should give the occupants time to escape. However once the doors do catch fire they may burn at different rates, so one door may be completely destroyed in a different amount of time to another of the same brand. It is this inconsistency that fire door testing and British standards seeks to eliminate and why fire safety certified can be relied upon. So if a door is labelled ‘FD 30’ you know that door is ensured to give 30 minutes protection from the spread of fire.
Like with smoke detectors, fire doors are not a legal requirement in most homes not because they aren’t a wise idea but because the enforcement and regular on-site checking of such measures would be a very costly exercise, all passed on to millions of consumers. However, if you do decide to fit fire doors then our catalogue will allow you to choose both safety and style in a wide range of doors.