When to install FD30 and FD60 fire doors?

To answer this regularly asked question, one of Safelincs’ fire door assessors has created a short fire door help guide. It lists the main legal frameworks relating to fire doors and offers an easy-to-understand overview of applications for FD30 and FD60 fire doors.

We also have a library of help files in our fire door help section which offers further guidance:

Fire Door Help & Information

Fire Door Closers Overview

Types of Fire Door Retainers

Directory of Fire Door Installers

Nominal Fire Doors

Use of Existing Fire Door Frames

If you have very specific questions relating to fire doors, you can also discuss these on our fire safety forum where fire safety experts will answer your questions.

Safelincs also offers fire door assessments as well as the manufacture of standard and made-to-measure fire doors. We pride ourselves to be able to supply you with everything from information and advice to complete fire doors and all required fire door hardware.

If you would like to speak to our friendly fire door team, please ring 0800 612 4837

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Harry Dewick-Eisele

Managing Director

MD and founder of Safelincs. Harry has a wealth of in-depth knowledge of all aspects of fire safety and related legislation.

Donation opens doors

wheelchair-accessAlford Corn Exchange Community Group, a charity supported by Safelincs, took over the running of Alford’s historic Corn Exchange in April 2014. The building is a Town Hall and home to many groups and events. East Lindsey District Council, who had planned to close and sell off the building, handed the building to the group, leaving them with the responsibility of raising enough money to cover the running costs and to make improvements to the building.

To increase income the charity started to offer packages for weddings, funerals and parties. However, fire doors became a problem when events became larger in scope and visitor numbers. The building is fitted with heavy internal fire doors that close with force when you let go of the handle. Carrying food and drinks from the kitchen to the main hall was a real problem, as volunteers had to negate two heavy fire doors into the main hall.

Safelincs was contacted by Vice Chair Janet Taylor to see if there was anything that Safelincs could do to help. It was quickly identified that fitting Freedor, a wireless free-swing door closer that acts as door holder and closer in one, would resolve the issues at the Corn Exchange. Freedor is fitted to the top of the door in the same location as a normal overhead door closer and will allow your fire door to swing freely as any normal door.

The Freedor unit listens for the fire alarm and on hearing it it will automatically close the door and stop the spread of fire and smoke.

The Freedor ensures that occupants have free access to all areas of the building whilst staying compliant with fire safety regulations. The free swing action also enables people with impaired mobility to move from one room to another without difficulty.

Safelincs decided to support the great efforts of the charity and donated two Freedor units as well as the installation. Janet Taylor said “I would like to say what a difference the new door closers, that your company have generously donated and installed, have made to me and other volunteers who are working and serving food at the functions we are now having in the Corn Exchange.” She went on to mention that “Before it was never easy carrying trays etc into the main hall. I am sure that other caterers who hire our facilities will also appreciate what you have done.”

For more information about Freedor and other free-swing door closers visit https://www.safelincs.co.uk/free-swing-door-closers/

Fire doors – Common queries from our fire safety forum

Safelincs operates a fire safety forum where people’s fire safety questions are answered by professionals. One of the frequently-raised topics are Fire Doors. This blog compiles some of the key points raised by the forum.

A fire door is designed to function both as a door and as a barrier to a fully developed fire in a building

Whilst any closed door will help to delay the spread of a fire, those designated specifically as fire doors must be capable of resisting the effect of fire for a period set out in its specification – typically 30 minutes.

Strictly speaking a fire door should be referred to as ‘a fire resisting doorset’ or fire door assembly including a frame as well.

This is because the door and the door frame act together in the context of fire resistance. In information pertaining to fire resistance you will see the actual door referred to as the ‘door leaf’ or simply the ‘leaf’. Other components are hardware (closers, hinges, etc.) and seals which must be to fire rated standards.

There are two types of smoke seal

  • A brush type seal will prevent the escape of cold smoke around the edges of the fire door. Smoke inhalation can be more dangerous than the fire itself. It is important, when fitting smoke seals, that they do not hinder the full and effective closure of the door.
  • Intumescent fire door seals remain dormant under normal conditions but expand greatly in the heat of a fire to close the gap between the door and its frame. A fire door required to provide resistance to the passage of a well-developed fire must be fitted with intumescent seals. These seals activate at temperatures that are above human survival levels, so there is no danger of them expanding and trapping people trying to escape.

Safelincs’ fire door seals contain both an intumescent strip as well as a brush to stop both smoke and fire. There are rare occasions where a brush is not helpful (if traces of smoke are required to drift through the door gap to trigger an alarm on the other side of the fire door). In these very rare cases, please contact our staff and we will supply you with intumescent strips without brush.

Fire doors are rated in accordance with the length of time they will resist a fire

A door rated FD30 will resist the passage of fire for 30 minutes, an FD60 for 60 minutes and so forth. If a fire door is rated FD30s it will have been fitted with the appropriate seal containing both intumescent and brush to resist the passage of cold smoke for 30 minutes as well.
Safelincs sells rebated or surface-mounted intumescent fire door seals which resist fire for 30 or 60 minutes (suitable for FD30 or FD60 fire doors). All Safelincs seals are available for single and double fire doors and can be fitted in the frame or the door leaf.

British Standards set out details on the permitted gaps around a fire door

BS 8214:2008 states that the gap along the sides, top and between the leaves of a double door should be 3 mm +/- 1 mm. Under-door (threshold) gaps should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the particular doorset design.
If the fire door is required to stop cold smoke as well (FDs) it should be fitted with a threshold seal underneath the door to stop the smoke. When fitted, threshold smoke seals should give an even contact with the floor but should not significantly increase friction that could hinder the opening or closing of the door.

When fitting a fire door, the door leaf can be shortened by cutting a section off at the bottom. However, the amount that can be removed at the sides is strictly limited. You need to contact the manufacturer about the maximum that can be planed off.

Fire doors should not be left open

Fire door closers have to be used to ensure that fire doors are kept shut, except when people are passing through them. There are a number of different types of closers on the market, including some which are concealed and unobtrusive – maintaining the character of a door – ideal for stylish offices or historic buildings.

It is illegal to prop fire doors open unless the door holder (also called fire door retainer) is capable of automatically releasing the door in case of a fire being detected. These work either acoustically (‘hearing’ the fire alarm) or by being wired into a building’s fire alarm system.

If users (for example disabled people) find fire doors with closers difficult to open, ‘swing free’ devices can be used

In some circumstance the force needed to open a fire door against the resistance of the fire door closers is too great for the user to manage. Bedroom doors in care facilities for the elderly or disabled and some rooms in clinics or hospitals are examples. Such doors can be fitted with “swing free” devices. These allow the door to be easily opened or closed without any door closer resitance. They also stay open in any open position required. They are linked to a fire alarm system and will resume their self-closing function in the event of a fire.

The entrance doors to flats, within a block of flats, should be fire doors

Where there a re jointly used exit routes the individual entrance doors in blocks of flats should usually be fire doors to safeguard residents in the building.

Fire doors can be painted with ordinary paint; however, fire door fittings need to be fire-rated

Door fittings include hinges, door closers and glazing. Locks just need to be CE marked (the CE marking indicating compliance with EU product legislation). Fire doors seals can be painted over although excessive thickness of paint should be avoided.

Fire doors can be fitted with glass panels

If glazing is required, this has to be carried out using fire resistant glass. There are two main types: Georgian wired and clear glass. Safelincs offers different glass types and a range of common fire door glazing dimensions. Its manufacturing plant will fit the fire door windows and certify the fire door and glazing with a BWF (British Woodworking Federation) certificate.

Fire doors can be fitted with a security viewer

Security viewers can be fitted to fire doors and offer 60 minutes of fire protection. Safelincs offer two models that will cover doors between 35mm and 62mm thick.

Fire doors should be professionally installed

Although a competent builder or joiner can install a fire door, the recommendation would be that the work is carried out under the auspices of the Accredited Fire Door Installers Scheme. This scheme has been developed by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) in association with FIRAS (installer certification scheme), with the purpose of ensuring that fire door installations are carried out correctly, safely and in compliance with current Building Regulations.

Once the fire door has been installed, it is also important that you carry out regular maintenance checks to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. Ask the installer for guidance on the issues to look for. If you choose to keep the door open with a fire door retainer, close the door at night to avoid the door warping.

Fire doors should not be confused with fire exits

Fire exits are there to ensure a safe escape for people in the event of a fire. That is they have to open easily from the inside and need to open fully. Final fire exits leading to the outside of a building do usually not have to be fire resistant. An exception are fire exits leading to major external evacuation routes. However, fire doors are also fire exits if they are on the route to the final fire exit, eg in corridors.

New Dorgard fire door holder sub-site

dorgards are fire door holders that allow doors fitted with door closers to be held open but allowing them to close in the event of the fire alarm sounding. The dorgard is activated when the fire alarm sounds and then releases the door allowing it to close and function as a fire door. Holding doors open during the summer months is particularly important when offices get hot and stuffy.

Occasionally, customers ask for more details with regards to the installation of dorgard fire door holders. To aid with installation tips, setting and maintenance as well as installation video tutorials, we have now launched a new sub-portal dedicated to the dorgard fire door holders.

We are of course always available to answer customer calls as well if you have any further questions.

GEZE door closers now in stock!

Safelincs now offers a wide range of GEZE door closers. These door closers are manufactured in Germany and come with an amazing 10 year warranty.

This new range of GEZE door closers are available for both single and double action doors. This innovative range includes overhead and concealed door closers. Safelincs have also introduced the TS4000E, which is an electro-hydraulic hold open. This function closes the door only when the fire alarm is activated.

GEZE door closers conform to the current EN standards, such as EN1155 and EN1158. The door closers are also certified by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), indicating they meet the highest standards of function and design.

For more information, please visit the GEZE Door closer section on our web site.