How safe are your fire doors – ways to demonstrate performance
It seems straightforward to most people what fire doors are for, and what they do. Their main function is to divide and compartmentalise a building in order to contain and slow down the spread of danger in the event of a fire breaking out. They delay the spread of flames and dangerous smoke in order to protect escape routes to allow the building’s occupants to reach a place of safety. In our public buildings and places of work we’re all aware of the presence of fire doors and, naturally, assume they are fit for purpose – but how do we actually know that?
All fire doors in the UK have to comply with specific regulations – those set in BS 476 (or EU equivalent BS EN 1634) in order to be legally fitted and used. These regulations refer to how the doors will function in the event of a fire breakout, and all door manufacturers have to demonstrate this compliance. Here are the ways a fire door supplier does that:
The manufacturer can self declare that their product complies
Some fire door suppliers and manufacturers will simply state themselves that their doors comply with, or are designed or tested to, certain standards. However, a manufacturer’s claim, in itself, is no guarantee that the doors reach the required standard.
Initial certification that a fire door has been tested
When buying your internal fire doors, if the supplier or manufacturer can produce a certificate for the product, commensurate with the stated regulations, then this is proof that the fire doors have been tested to the required levels of performance. However, this isn’t necessarily proof of lasting quality and performance. This is achieved by a high standard of craftsmanship, expert installation and ongoing maintenance.
Other fire door performance considerations
Glazing of a fire door is a common addition for both safety and aesthetics but should only be undertaken by quality assured, relevantly approved companies.
For complete assurance of your fire door safety, ensure you use ONLY third-party certified doors and components from relevantly accredited fire door suppliers and manufacturers.
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