Fire Doors – Saving Lives, Protecting Your Reputation

There is a legal requirement for manufacturers of fire doors to demonstrate the ability of their products to resist the passage and spread of fire. However, if fire doors are not properly installed, their fire resistance capabilities can be seriously compromised.

Choosing a Q-Mark certified fire door installer like Dragon Fire Doors, and undertaking regular inspections and maintenance is the easiest way to both illustrate that you comply with the highest standards while also ensuring that the fire doors in your developments will keep on protecting inhabitants, year after year.

We work with leading building contractors and property developers, and offer quality, experience and a fire door fitting service you can trust. We operate throughout the UK.

What does Q-Mark Certification Mean?

The Grenfell Tower tragedy highlighted how disastrous the spread of fire can be.

Despite the wake-up call that Grenfell gave the construction industry, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) reports that three quarters of all fire doors inspected in 2019 were condemned as not fit for purpose. This means, in a fire, the occupants would not be properly protected.

The BM TRADA Q-Mark Fire Door Installation scheme has been designed to provide reassurance to specifiers, contractors and end users that the product they have chosen has been installed correctly and that it should perform as intended.

The Q-Mark Fire Door Installation scheme is based on training an individual who takes responsibility for the training and work carried out by several operatives. The scheme is designed to ensure that fire doorsets are being installed correctly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or appropriate guidelines.

Membership is of the Q-Mark scheme provides a clear demonstration of an installer’s commitment to quality, and increasingly public sector developers are specifying in their tenders that fire door installations are carried out by Q-Mark certified professionals.

For developers and building contractors, Q-Mark certification provides peace of mind that the Fire Door Installer is suitably qualified and that their work is continually assessed by an independent body. For occupiers, it could literally be the difference between life and death in the event of a fire.

What is a Fire Door?

Unlike a regular door, a fire door is tested against the elements and purpose-built to resist the spread of fire, giving vital extra minutes. A series of good fire doors can compartmentalise the building and delay fires from spreading.

Fire doors are not a ‘nice to have’ – properly fitted fire doors are a legal requirement in flats where the door opens to a communal area – and fire doors are also required in commercial properties.

Fire doors have two essential functions when fire breaks out:

  • When closed, they form a heat-resistant barrier to stop the spread of fire
  • When opened, they provide a means of escape

A fire door is an engineered fire safety device and as such must conform to specific standards which cover the door itself, doorware and fitting. While a standard door is usually 35/40 mm thick, fire doors are made to an exacting specification and are much thicker and more heat resistant than a standard door.

How are fire doors rated?

Fire doors are rated as FDxx (xx being the number of minutes the door is likely to resist a raging fire).

For example, FD30 (30 minutes) fire doors are usually 44/45mm thick, while FD60 (60 minute) fire doors (often used in commercial settings) are normally 54mm thick.

However, these ratings only apply to fire doors when fitted to the manufacturer’s requirements. If fitted incorrectly, the fire door will fail in an emergency.

Who needs a Fire Door and who can fit one?

  1. Responsibilities for fire safety apply to property developers and landlords. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), landlords have a responsibility to ensure their properties and tenants are safe. Fire doors are mandatory in any domestic apartment building where the door opens to a shared communal area and in commercial premises.
  2. Fire doors should always be fitted correctly by a competent installer, as they’re a carefully engineered fire safety device and must be fitted to exacting standards covering everything from the frame to any doorware fitted. Q-Mark fire door installers are trained in these standards and their certification is your guarantee that fire doors will perform when needed.

What is the British Standard for Fire doors?

Certified fire safety doors should conform to British Standard (BS) Parts 22 and 31 or BS EN 1154. In order to act as a fire door, however, the door will need to have appropriate smoke and fire seals around the door, the handles should close properly and any fittings, such as seals and other components like letter boxes should also be fire-safe.

The building regulations apply to the entire door set and how it is fitted, not just the door itself. A Q-Mark Certified Fire Door Fitter is your guarantee that any fire doors fitted are up to the job.

Fire Door Maintenance

Once fitted, fire doors must receive regular inspections and maintenance, they are not an item you can fit and forget.

Inspections should be carried out by a suitably qualified fire safety expect and will be timed according to the age of the door, thus older doors need more frequent inspections.

FDIS inspectors and Q-Mark Certified fitters are trusted to undertake these inspections, offering reassurance for both contractors and landlords.

We recommend choosing a Q-Mark certified fire door fitter to undertake all your inspections and maintenance, and we can work on a wide range of projects, from a single fire door to huge supply and maintenance contracts.

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