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What are the Rules for Internal Fire Doors?

What are the Rules for Internal Fire Doors?

Internal fire rated doors are not just architectural elements; they are vital components of a building’s fire safety infrastructure. In multi-occupancy residential buildings, such as apartments and flats, these doors serve as critical barriers, containing fires within compartments to prevent the spread of flames and smoke, thereby protecting escape routes and saving lives. 

Understanding the legal requirements and standards for internal fire doors is paramount to ensuring both compliance with UK regulations and the safety of the building’s occupants.

Certification and Performance Standards

In the UK, internal fire doors must adhere to stringent fire resistance performance standards. These standards are crucial for doors situated along designated escape routes, including corridors and stairwells. Typically, fire doors are rated FD30 or FD60, indicating their ability to withstand fire for 30 or 60 minutes. 

Achieving certification requires rigorous testing against the BS EN 1634 standard, which evaluates the entire door assembly—this includes the door leaf, frames, vision panels, and all associated hardware. 

The certification process ensures that each component of the door assembly can perform under the extreme conditions of a fire.

Self-Closing Devices

A requirement for fire doors within the UK is the integration of self-closing devices. This feature is essential for maintaining the compartmentalisation of fire, especially along internal escape routes. The regulation mandates that doors, particularly those that lead to communal areas, are equipped with mechanisms that automatically close the door. 

This is to prevent the doors from being left open, either inadvertently or through human oversight, which could otherwise compromise the building’s fire safety strategy.

Hardware Compatibility

The compatibility of hardware components is equally important; every element of the fire door assembly must be tested and approved for fire resistance to ensure the door functions as intended in the event of a fire.

Glazed Vision Panels

Fire doors that incorporate glazed vision panels must also meet specific fire safety standards. The glass and the framing system must withstand the conditions of a fire without compromising the integrity of the door. 

This allows for the inclusion of windows in fire doors without sacrificing safety, providing visibility and light while still maintaining the door’s protective properties.

Maintenance and Compliance

The effectiveness of fire doors extends beyond their initial installation. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that all components of the door, including seals, hinges, and self-closing mechanisms, remain functional. We would recommend that fire doors are inspected annually, to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

Any signs of damage or wear must be addressed promptly to preserve the door’s fire resistance capabilities. Proper documentation of maintenance and repairs is also crucial for accountability and compliance.

The Role of Fire Doors in Fire Safety Strategy

Internal fire doors play an indispensable role in a building’s overall fire safety strategy. By compartmentalising fire, these doors help to maintain clear escape routes, allowing occupants more time to evacuate safely. 

For developers and building managers, ensuring that fire doors meet all legal requirements and standards is not just a matter of regulatory compliance—it is a critical responsibility towards the safety and well-being of the building’s occupants.

Conclusion: Fire Door Compliance

Internal fire doors are a fundamental aspect of fire safety in all buildings. Adhering to the stringent regulations and standards set forth by UK legislation ensures the safety of occupants and the integrity of the building. 

Through careful selection, regular inspection & maintenance, and compliance with certification requirements, developers and building managers can effectively implement a fire safety strategy that includes the critical use of internal fire doors.

Bradbury Group’s Fire Doors

With thirty years of experience, Bradbury Group has established itself as a leader in the field of fire door compliance. Our bespoke internal fire doors are engineered to meet the specific demands of any building project, offering a range of solutions from FD30 to FD240 classifications.

Our M2MFD steel fire door range meets the highest standards of fire safety without compromising on bespoke design. For expert guidance on selecting and installing the right fire doors for your development, trust our expertise at Bradbury Group.