The correct installation of Fire Doors – lets try and save him a job.

The correct installation of our doors is a subject we at GFD Group of companies (of which Global Door is a member) have covered numerous times in blogs because we appreciate that if your door is correctly installed you the customer will be happy with its performance and appearance and we who have installed it will not be constantly on call to address installation complaints.

We returned to this topic as recently as a couple of months ago with our blog “Why correct installation matters” where we highlighted all of the benefits which our customers receive when they use our” First class Installation” – in that article we highlighted that installing of all kinds of doors is something with which we have vast experience. This experience particularly comes to the fore when we are talking “fire doors” , because fitting a fire door isn’t the same as hanging a normal door, there are more components that need to be addressed – door closers , intumescent strips, securely sealed frames etc which in many instances either are not required for a normal non fire proof front door or not as critical to the installation. The correct fitting of a fire door is a complex procedure requiring detailed knowledge and understanding of the task – something which our fitting teams have in abundance.

As a Fire door is required to form a virtual air tight seal when closed the failure to fit a fire door correctly will compromise the door’s performance and ultimately property and lives will be at risk. A new fire door must comply with the requirements of Part B of the Building Regulations and all legitimate doors will have the appropriate documentation to support this compliance as part of the sales package. This correct documentation is important because if your installation is part of a new build / extension and is monitored by a Building Control Officer he will check for compliance of both the product specification as well as ensuring the way the door is fitted utilising all components is also compliant.

All of Global Door FD30s fire doors fully comply with Part B of the Building Regulations when fitted in accordance with their certification when installed using our First-Class Installation Service.

The correct installation of a Fire Door requires that consideration / application of all of the following measures are undertaken all of which are as standard practice for our fitting teams –

The frame – as with any door it should be as tight a fit to the surrounding brickwork as possible but in the case of a Fire door it is imperative that neither flame or smoke should be able to pass behind the frame therefore backing the frame with an inert material such as Rockwool or similar glass fibre material will be required if the fit to the wall is poor and in all cases the junction between the wall and the frame should be pointed all around the frame to both sides with an intumescent mastic.

Fire Door Seals- fire doors must always be fitted to incorporate the correct intumescent and /or smoke seals as they are the critical component in restricting the spread of fire and smoke, there correct installation is essential. For any door to work effectively, it must be free to move within the frame, this is normally achieved by the creation of a small gap around the perimeter of the door, this, however, will compromise the doors ability to restrict the spread of fire. The solution is the inclusion of intumescent strips – these expand and fill the gap when subjected to heat. The intumescent strip is generally inserted and secured into a preformed groove on the door frame but they can also be grooved in the door edge if required. Care must be taken to ensure that the intumescent seals specified in the test evidence are used.

Ironmongery for fire doors – the key component that we are all aware of is the door closer because a fire door that stands open and does not close/ seal correctly is not a fire door. The choice of door closer and ironmongery contained on the Global Door web site has already been matched for compatibility with the weight and style of our fire doors to ensure that they comply with all the required “fire test” standards when fitted to the installed door, this may seem a minor point but, fitting the correct ironmongery forms part of the fire door’s test accreditation. Ironmongery includes all the items that are used on a fire door, such as hinges, overhead door closers, latches, locks and handles.

The ironmongery when installed for doors in excess of a FD30s rating, may also requires protection from the possible spread of flame and particularly in the case of 60 minute and above fire protection doors – the hinges may be bedded on intumescent pads and the various ironmonger components handles and locks may be backed with or wrapped in intumescent material during installation

In order to ensure that the fire door will work in the event of a fire it is essential that the correct ironmongery has been fitted and maintained.

Maintenance of fire doors – Fire door should be regularly checked both visually and mechanically to ensure that it still functions correctly as any slight alteration to the door or its surroundings can cause movement of the frame or the door within the frame which can affect the performance and its ability to last half an hour in the event of a fire. The occasional oiling of hinges locks and door closers to ensure that they are working efficiently is recommended. As with all Global Door Composite doors our doors have a GRP protective skin and therefore the only required maintenance is an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth.

The BWF (British Woodworking Federation – the body responsible for fire test certification) have produced an excellent video “freely available on YouTube” which we have copied here and which gives an excellent guide as to the how’s and how nots of installing a Fire Door.