UK Fire Door Regulations
Keeping people safe in a fire emergency requires passive fire protection to do its job effectively. This means that compartmentalisation contains the fire within a specific area of the building. Fire stopping arrests the spread of smoke or toxic fumes. Finally, the structure of the building is protected against collapse as a result of extreme temperatures. Passive fire protection provides a guaranteed period in which people can evacuate the building safely.
Fire Doors and Frames
Fire-rated doorsets are an integral part of the compartmentalisation of a building, and are critical to stopping the ingress of smoke or fumes. For this reason the UK Fire Door Regulations provide guidance as to the minimum building standards required. The guidelines are set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order: 2005, and Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations (England and Wales).
What are Fire Doors?
All fire doors are required to have evidence of fire testing, in the form of a certificate of performance in accordance with British (or European) standards. UK fire door regulations require the following critical components for effective fire protection:
- Door Leaf. The panel that fills the doorway.
- Frame or Casing. The design of this component is critical to fire safety.
- Intumescent Seal. This will expand in the case of fire to stop smoke, or fumes.
- Glazing. All transparent panels should use fire tested glass.
- Signage. This should be placed at eye level on the door.
- Latch/Lock. Ensuring that the door is secured in the event of a fire.
A fire-rated doorset should contain all these components and be supplied as one unit which has been pre-assembled in the factory. Ordinary doors should not be adapted for use as a fire door.
Where Should Fire Doors be Fitted?
The guidance is laid out in the Building Regulations Part B, Volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1 refers to domestic buildings and Volume 2 refers to non-domestic buildings. The location of fire doors and the rating of the doorset fitted will be dependent on a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). This should be carried out by fire protection professional. Fire doors may be rated to provide between 20 and 120 minutes protection to allow for safe evacuation.
Handover to a Responsible Person
Regulation 38 applies in England and Wales. It states that at the point of handover, fire safety information should be given to a ‘responsible person’. The person who hands over the information will be the contractor, and the recipient will most likely be the Fire Officer, or Health & Safety Officer.
The information handed over should provide everything required to carry out fire inspections going forward:
- Contractor’s contact details
- Fire door certificate
- Number and location of all fire doors fitted
- Details of all components included in doorset
- Maintenance information
- Frequency of maintenance and inspection required
About Wallace Fire Protection Ltd
Wallace is a specialist contractor providing passive fire protection design and installation. We’re one of 6 UK companies licensed and approved Promat DURASTEEL® installer, and we regularly work in high risk environments providing blast resistant walls and ceilings, high impact walls, fire barriers and fire/security rated doorsets.