Installing a Fire Door: Your Guide
Installing an internal fire door isn't as straightforward as fitting a typical door. It is a complex procedure requiring a detailed understanding of how fire spreads and how it needs to be prevented. Installation of fire doors is as life-critical as the product specification itself. It can only be reliably carried out by someone trained to install fire doors and understands their responsibilities in getting it right.
Who Should Be Installing Fire Doors?
The only individuals that should attempt fire door installation are those that have undergone professional training. From 2017, any contractors have obtained a Fire Door NVQ between the British Woodworking Federation and Neath Port Talbot College. Any knowledge and skills you'll have to utilise to install indoor and outdoor fire doors safely will be taught for this award.
Failing to fit a fire door correctly will severely impact any door's performance, and an ill-fitted door leaves room for fire to spread through gaps. When you're browsing for a qualified fire door installer, you are best selecting a contractor with a fire door specific award or accreditation, e.g. a Q-Mark certification.
Fit Your Fire Door Frame
Your fire door frame needs to be able to accommodate your door's fire rating. Door frames and your actual door are made from different materials, so you need to be confident they accommodate one another with similar strength. Your frame is a crucial element of your fire door assembly, so don't rush installing it.
Add Fire Door Seals
Not only do internal fire doors require a suitable frame, but you also ought to add smoke seals to your fitting. Smoke seals fill gaps around the edge of your door and your frame, so they play a critical role in minimising fire spread.
After all, for a door to work effectively, it must be free to move within the frame, but that means a gap around the door's perimeter that allows heat and smoke to travel. Installers can fix this issue with specialist strips that expand and fill the gap when facing direct heat.
Accessories On Internal Fire Doors
You likely haven't given a second thought to your locks, hinges, and handles since they only account for a small percentage of your door. Your accessories are more important than you may realise, particularly since your door handles will be subjected to the heat of any fire.
If your hinges cannot withstand the temperature that your door frame can, they'll come undone sooner, and your door will collapse. Do your best to guarantee that the accessories fitted to your door are of similar strength and fire rating to your frame. Don't rush repairs with cheap hinges!
Regularly Service Your Fire Doors
Since your fire doors are so critical in saving lives in an emergency, you should regularly assess and service them to ensure they're reliable. Fire door surveys assess the slightest changes to your door, down to swapping the handle, and ensure that it'll last long enough to protect in the event of a fire. Should any weaknesses be noticed, you should prioritise fire door repair. You never know if you're going to be faced with a life-threatening incident, and it's best to be confident you're prepared with adequate fire safety solutions.
External fire doors generally remain untouched since you'll have main exits to use instead. Internal fire doors are slightly different since they're likely used as a standard door every day. Doors facing everyday use will be subject to standard wear and tear, and you'll need to clean their handles to minimise the spread of germs. If you’re unsure about the maintenance your fire door requires, contact us at London Fire Solutions.