Why FD20 Fire Doors Need Replacing
Almost everybody involved in the construction or building industry will be aware of the importance of fire doors – and the legal, mandatory requirement of them in certain buildings and developments. People will be most familiar with the fire door specifications of FD30 and FD60 (or higher) which provide protection from, and containment of, smoke, heat, and flame, in the event of a fire outbreak for the specified time indicated in the fire rating. Stringent Health and Safety and Fire Safety regulations and recommendations are in place for developers and builders to follow and adhere to meet legal requirements and, more importantly, provide vital protection of both property and building occupants and users. What some people may not be aware of is that there are still some buildings that contain earlier-constructed fire doors that were certified as FD20 fire doors – here are some aspects to be aware of with such installations:
What are FD20 Fire Doors?
As far back as 1995 the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) developed the BWF-Certifire Fire Door and Doorset Scheme outlining the specifications for effective fire doors. At this stage existing FD20 fire doors was amongst the allowed ratings. Although it was stressed that if fitted without intumescent smoke seals, the doorset installation had to absolutely accura within the frame and this accuracy would need to be maintained through the service life of the door assembly tteo be fit for purpose.
When accounting for this scenario, it was decided that ONLY FD20 fire doors WITH intumescent seals would be eligible for official rating through the Scheme. This ruling meant that upgraded FD20 fire doors with the intumescent seals now cost the same to manufacture and install as the higher graded FD30 fire doors, thereby making any further production of FD20 fire doors somewhat redundant and so production was halted.
Knowing Your Building Regulations
There were, and still are though, some FD20 fire door installations in place in buildings. If these commercial fire doors have not been maintained to these precise specifications, then they are no longer qualified as acceptable nor legal fire protection doors and will invalidate the certification of the doors. Any existing FD20 fire doors MUST have FD30 standard intumescent seals fitted and NO gaps around ANY part of the frame and must also sport certificated FD30 fire door hardware. With these stringent, ongoing requirements for the maintenance of these FD20 commercial fire doors, the best solution is to replace them with more modern FD30 fire doors.
As well as the mandatory industry-recommended guidelines being met, it is important to consider the possible ramifications of commercial fire doors that are not fit for purpose. Premature failure of these FD20 fire doors can lead to extensive damage to properties as well as the bigger responsibility of endangering people’s safety and lives!
It is wise to speak to an established and recognised fire door manufacturer and supplier who can provide expert advice as to fire door ratings and the correct use of the different standard commercial fire doorsets.