Timber fire-rated doors
While buildings may have specified timber fire-rated doors, there is still a risk of failure, because a fire door is just a single component in a complete assembly which includes the frame, seals and ironmongery.
Most failures occur because of incorrect or poor fitting, the use of incorrect ironmongery or damage to the door itself. If a fire door has been damaged the wrong response is to ‘patch it up’ rather than replacing and then ensuring the right level of inspection and maintenance. The problem often seen is people thinking they can just hang a door and leave it – that’s not the case! All fire doors need to be checked and maintained regularly – at least every three to six months depending upon the level of use.
5 Steps of Fire Door specification
So, what should builders and building owners be aware of when specifying fire doors?
- Only purchase certificated fire doors from an approved fire door centre: within Buildbase there are at least 10 branches that are approved fire door centres, which means that the people in the branch have the appropriate knowledge to offer advice.
- Buy third-party certificated fire doors from manufacturers such as JELDWEN and PREMDOR.
- Only trim, alter and fit fire doors in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to do so will invalidate the door’s fire certificate.
- Use approved hinges, latches, locks and overhead door closers – and make sure to use the correct intumescent seals and or intumescent smoke seals, which are fitted around the door edges or in the door frame itself, when fitted correctly these seals expand to fill the gap between door and frame reducing the risk of fire and smoke spreading around to the other side of the door and into other parts of the building – containment is the aim.
- Using the right components and fitting the door correctly is essential but, once fitted, the building owner needs to carry out routine maintenance. A damaged door, worn hinges, locks, latches or door closers should be replaced, as should any seals that have been damaged or painted over to ensure the door can still perform correctly in the event of a fire.
Along with the above guidelines, Buildbase’s Milton Keynes timber workshop has the ability to modify fire doors with certificated glazed vision panels and produce fire rated doors from Flamebreak door blanks, all within the BWF-Certifire Fire Door scheme, as a fully-licensed fire door processor. The branch is also ISO90001 QMS certified for quality in cutting and glazing fire doors.
Keith Henley – author of this blog post – is Joinery Manager at Buildbase Milton Keynes