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Fire door hinges are a key part of the door performance

Fire door hinges are a key part of the door performance

We are all aware of the importance of safety and security within public buildings, including the threat of fire outbreak. Many residential buildings also require fire doors of specific standards to be installed – wherever fire doors are installed there are specific guidelines and minimum standards of safety required for them to be effective.

It is not just the door itself that needs to be appropriate – all elements of the fire door set need to be professionally manufactured and certified including the door frames, seals, and hinges.

Here are some further details on the importance of fire door hinges:

Fire door hinges – What are they?

So, what exactly are fire door hinges? All internal fire doors MUST be fitted with fire door hinges as a legal requirement to comply with stated fire door regulations.

Fire door hinges must be made with a metal that has a melting point greater than 800 degrees centigrade – anything less than that temperature will not be fit for purpose. Metals that are appropriate for fire door hinges are steel, stainless steel, brass, or phosphor bronze – other more common materials used for hinges, such as aluminium or nylon, are NOT certified for fire door use. Any combustible or thermally softening materials cannot be used in fire door hinge construction. In addition, all fire door hinges MUST be CE certified marked.

Reasons why specialise hinges are needed

All fire doors must be fitted with fire door hinges because regular door hinges will warp, break, or melt under intense heat and are, therefore, unsafe in the event of a fire outbreak. Any such fault or weakness in the door hinge will result in the fire door dropping and therefore, no longer fitting the frame correctly and will allow smoke, heat, and flame to pass through and spread the fire to adjoining areas.

All commercial fire doors need to have these appropriate hinges to form an effective barrier against these elements. Internal fire doors must be part of an overall complete fire door set – this includes the frame, intumescent seals, architrave, any door stops and other door hardware, as well as the hinges and the door itself.

How fire door hinges work

Fire door hinges, along with the other essential fire door elements, form a protective barrier against heat, smoke, and flame – the metal used is heat resistant therefore holding the door in place against any fire outbreak for a longer period, allowing time for a building evacuation and for emergency services to attend and control the fire. Fire doors are specifically designed to contain the fire and delay the spread of the harmful smoke and heat. Fire doors are constructed to different resistance levels – an internal domestic fire door will most likely offer up to 30 minutes resistance, whereas commercial fire doors will generally be manufactured to offer up to 60 minutes or more fire protection.

All fire door sets should be installed by certified professionals

All fire door sets should be fitted and installed by trained and certified fire safety professionals. There are different elements to consider with the installation of fire doors – the hinge placement must be correct and there must be a minimum of three fire door hinges present (commercial fire doors may be heavier and require more hinges) and the spacing of the hinges must be precise. All fire door hinges must be fitted with steel screws of the recommended size and length. When installing fire doors, the fitter should also ensure that the recommendations for the frames and seals are also fully met.

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