Fire Doors in Schools.

What is a Fire-resisting Door

A fire-resisting door (Fire Door) is a door or shutter which together with its frame and hardware allows for the movement of people and everything else within a fire separating wall. When closed, the intention is to restrict fire and smoke to a predictable level of performance (for eg. 30 Minutes). In existing schools fire doors will be found protecting high risk areas like the kitchen, plant rooms or other cupboards containing fire risks. You maintenance team will be aware of their location and should be checking that they are in good working order – but what are they looking for?

The elements of a fire door

A fire resisting door is tested and certified as a unit which will include:

  1. Door Frame & Leaf – The key parts of a fire door and they must be tested together to make a compliant door, if the leaf is to be replaced the frame should be also. On Timber doors the width of the door often signifies the fire rating (typically 44mm for 30 minute rated doors and 54mm for 60 minute rated doors).
  2. Self Closers – A fire door will only work in the closed position, where it provides the protection that it is designed for. This means that most fire doors are fitted with self-closing devices (unless they are locked shut – like a cupboard); the self closing device should never be tampered with, wedged open or removed.
  3. Intumescent Strips & Smoke Seals – Intumescent strips are devices usually fitted in the frame that in the event of a fire will expand and seal the gap between door and frame, smoke seals provide extra protection from smoke.
  4. Glazed Openings – if the door has a vision panel or glazed opening it is important to ensure that the glazing is rated the same as the door.
  5. Ironmongery – All ironmongery must be tested with the door, there should be 3 hinges and all be fitted correctly, any locks should also be fire rated.

How to check your fire doors.

Regular inspection by a professional is important but the site team should do regular checks to ensure that the door is working properly:

  1. Door Frame & Leaf – check for damage on the door and that the gaps between the leaf and frame are within tolerance (Head Gaps <4mm, Side Gaps <4mm, Threshold Gaps <10mm). The door should be adjusted if they are out of tolerance.
  2. Self Closer – ensure that a self closing device is fitted and that it closes the door completely into its frame from 7.5mm and from fully open. If not have the closer adjusted until it is able to do this.
  3. Intumescent Strips & Smoke Seals – ensure that the strips are continuous and undamaged, if a smoke seal is painted over it will not operate correctly and needs replacing.
  4. Glazed Openings – ensure that glazing panels are fire rated to that of the door.
  5. Ironmongery – ensure that hinges have all their screws present and any retro fitted locks or devices are fire rated.

If you need assistance with fire doors call our office on 0191 516 6106 where we will be happy to help.

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