When do I need fire doors?

White city project‘The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live’. While purchasing new internal doors we may consider different size, style or finish. But some of the internal doors simply need to be fire rated. Do you know what fire doors are and when to fit them?

In order to provide safety, fire doors design & construction is meant to slow the progress of a fire inside the house.

What are fire doors?

Fire doors are usually thicker than regular doors (35mm). Domestic fire doors are approximately 44 mm and will protect other areas from fire for at least 30 minutes. Commercial fire doors are even thicker – 54mm. They have a rating of 60 minutes or more.

Does fire rating mean that the doors will have an ‘industrial’ and slightly unpleasant look? Definitely not.

Most fire doors have a solid core construction made from a solid timber, chipboard, flax board etc. Popular door manufacturers offer various door styles in two options – regular and fire rated. You will recognize the second option by the symbol ‘FD30’ appearing next to the product code, name or simply in the description.

When do we need fire doors?

Using fire doors is highly advised wherever fire might start. For example, doors leading from a kitchen, doors from a living room a fireplace & TV or another room with a significant amount of electric devices. Basically, for your own safety, even if not required, you can have fire doors wherever you want!

Building control regulations clearly states when fire doors are not voluntary, but obligatory:

  • Two – story house which has a door leading from an integral garage into the house
  • New build or renovated domestic properties which have 3 or more stories (including loft conversions) must have fire doors to every habitable room off the stairwell.

If you are undertaking a loft conversion, adding a side extension or a garage, then you must remember about providing your new place with fire doors. Usually, the architect practice you are using will point this out on their drawings.

What else?

This might sound silly, but even 60-minute fire door won’t work if they are not shut! It is good to have a habit of closing all doors before going to sleep or leaving the house. If you are fitting fire doors consider adding a suitable ironmongery and intumescent strips. This is a characteristic seal chemically designed to expand when exposed to extreme heat.

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