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Why are fire doors so important?

Why are fire doors so important?

Everyone knows that as a business owner you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your premises are safe and secure from fire for your employees and any visitors to the building. This includes fire prevention and maintenance of fire safety equipment. Fire safety doors are an important aspect of this legal responsibility and play a part in keeping people and premises safe should a fire break out.

Your legal and moral responsibility

Business owners responsibilities when it comes to fire safety are numerous and varied.

The implementation of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in 2006 has led to a greater importance being placed on the responsibility of all building operators in England and Wales. The order requires a responsible person to be designated for all commercial premises and the designated person has many legal responsibilities including a duty to take general fire precautions, a duty to reduce the risk of the spread of fire on the premises, and to mitigate the effects of any fire that may break out. An important part of these responsibilities is ensuring that adequate fire doors are fitted in the correct places.

For a domestic project, FD30 fire doors are usually the best choice, building regulations specify the places in which you must have 30 minute fire doors in a domestic dwelling. If you are unsure as to where your fire doors need to be fitted it is always a good idea to check with your architect or a fire safety door expert.

For a commercial building, a variety of different fire doors may be required, from FD30 fire doors to FD60 fire doors, and sometimes doors up to FD120. Again, it is best to check with a fire door safety expert if you are unsure as to what rating of fire door you need in your premises.

Incorrectly rated or incorrectly fitted fire doors are a breach of fire safety regulations as well as being a risk to people in your business and the building itself.

What goes into a fire door?

Approved FD30 fire doors have 30 mins integrity at least. This means that they must provide at least 30 minutes fire resistance.

In addition, timber framed 30 minute fire doors will have a 44mm certified core to either standard BS 476 Pt22:1987 or BS EN 1634-1:2014. The core is made of materials that are rigorously tested to ensure that they will control the spread of fire. The purpose of the core of a fire door is to resist the fire and burn at a rate that slows the spread of the fire.

Fire safety doors should have intumescent strips in the frame or the door but not both and if there is any glazing in the fire door should be certified.

What does a fire door do?

All fire safety doors must be installed by a competent person by law.

As mentioned previously, the purpose of any fire door is to slow the spread of a fire by controlling the speed at which the fire can travel through a building. For example, if 30 minute fire doors are fitted and a fire breaks out, the additional 30 mins integrity that the FD30 fire doors allow will assist evacuation and containment of the fire whilst the emergency services travel to the building.

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