Your Guide To Fire Doors: Which One Is Right For Your Building?
Whether you are looking for a fire door for a commercial or residential building, you must know all the different kinds on the market to ensure you make the right choice. Not every fire door suits every purpose, so it is essential to know a bit about each type and how they work to prevent the spread of fire in your building or home.
Fundamentally, fire doors are there to save lives. They are a passive form of fire protection, meaning they contain the fire in one area for an extended period. They cannot permanently withhold fire or act as a method to extinguish it. Nevertheless, they are a valuable piece of equipment to have installed and an essential feature for your building to be certified fire-safe by the Approved Fire Safety Regulations.
Fire doors will give you extra time to evacuate your building to a place of safety until the emergency services arrive. By containing a fire to one space, fire doors can significantly reduce the amount of damage caused to your building, which can save you a great deal of money in the long run. They protect escape routes which is now an essential requirement of any building regulations. They keep both evacuees’ and firefighters’ safe.
It is hard to know which is the best fire door for your particular building without experience in the field. This is why we have gathered all of the information you need to know about each type of fire door so that you can make the best decision and have the best protection from fire. If you have any questions about the fire safety of your building, then you can contact us today, and a member of our team can answer any queries you have.
Internal and External
Fire doors come in two main categories, internal and external. An internal fire door prevents the spread of fire within a building, and these can include communal and corridor fire doors and doors to any rooms in your building. If a fire starts in a particular part of a building, then the nearest fire door will provide a certain amount of protection, usually up to an hour. These doors must remain shut at all times and have self-close hinges to ensure that they form a complete seal. You mustn’t hold an internal fire door ajar, even if it is more practical, as this renders it useless at withholding fire.
Internal fire doors do not have to look like a basic fire door at all. They are available in various styles and designs with the same top-grade protection you expect from a high-quality fire door. You can modify these doors to suit your interior style to not look out of place but keep you as safe as possible.
External fire doors should be any exterior door on a commercial building. They are self-closing and often made of reinforced glass, making them more durable and fire-resistant than typical doors. These doors can be part of your designated fire exits too. They form a complete seal between the door and frame when shut, which you will be able to hear as the door closes.
There are some security issues with external fire doors. This is because they cannot be locked so that anyone can immediately open them. This is where “push” bars come in. They are easy to operate and perfect for external doors that only open outwards and are a popular option for buildings of moderate security.
Communal Doors/ Screens
Communal doors are found in residential buildings such as apartment blocks, nursing homes or hotels, and other large commercial buildings such as offices and schools. They are an appropriate solution for any structure with large and long corridors as they divide up the passages into smaller sections, increasing the prevention of fire spread. These doors are often double, self-closing heavyweight doors with wire or reinforced glass panels. They should remain closed at all times or can be installed with sensors so that they automatically close when the building’s fire alarm sounds.
Where to install your fire doors depends on what type of building you are in and how it is designed. Your key focus should always be on protecting people’s lives and ensuring plenty of exits and fire guarding installations throughout your building. You need to get a complete survey of your building which we can carry out for you here at London Fire Solutions. This will determine the window of time you have to get everyone inside safely evacuated. Fire doors come in two main types: an FD30, providing up to 30 minutes of protection, and FD60, which is more durable and will withstand a blaze for up to an hour.
Steel doors are a popular option in businesses with valuable stock within their building or are in an area with high crime rates. These doors are as solid as it gets when it comes to fire protection. As other materials such as wood can succumb to wear and tear over time, steel fire doors are built to withstand all weather conditions and break-in attempts. A steel door is recommended if you are part of the food industry because steel surfaces are effortless to keep clean to a high standard. Hospital and care facilities will also benefit from steel fire doors over wooden ones, as they are more tolerant to heavy-duty cleaning chemicals.
One of the most significant features of a steel fire door is the extra protection from fire spread. Steel doors can increase your protection time by three hours, making them the strongest and safest fire door option. You are also not limited to a steel-fronted door, with many coming with a range of coatings from woodgrain to PVC, making them a suitable fit for many environments.
Any existing doors that need not be replaced could benefit from having a frame armour system installed. Frame armour increases both the security and fire protection of a door. They are installed over your current door frames, which drastically reduces installation time and cost, something that is perfect for residential buildings in need of a safety upgrade.
The performance of a fire door has a lot to do with the surrounding fixtures, not just the door itself. You can enhance their natural fire protective qualities if you have standard timber doors by adding the appropriate increased protection around them. A significant benefit of altering your doorframes with us is that we build around your current doorways. This means you do not have to risk damage caused to surrounding walls, as you would with a complete frame replacement. Our doorframes are also certified by the UK Police flagship SBD (Secured By Design). This means that your doors will meet safety and security standards for homes and commercial premises.
Now you have all of the information, you can begin thinking about which kind of fire protection is best suited to your building. Every aspect of fire safety must be covered in your building to ensure the safety of everyone inside. Each of our fire door installations is completed by a certified and experienced member of our LFS team. We also offer 3-year planned maintenance with any of our products to keep your fire doors working to regulation standards. You will also gain access to our bespoke PASSFIRE app, helping you make repair arrangements quickly and efficiently, making your building safer.