Q&A With Our In House Fire Door Safety Expert

We met with our in-house fire door expert Jon to discuss the importance of rigorous testing procedures, accredited certifications, suitable hardware and more.

What are fire doors and how are they tested to ensure that they qualify?

Fire doors are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. This allows anyone in the building to escape in the event of an emergency and can also reduce the damage caused by a fire. Fire doors are usually (but not always) found internally.

How do fire doors work?

With a combination of specific fire-resistant materials and essential components, fire doors work to facilitate the safe escape of anyone in the building. These can include:
– Intumescent seals which expand when temperatures reach 200°C to fill the gaps between the door and the frame to contain the smoke and fire
– Closer mechanisms to automatically shut the doors (not just in the event of an emergency, these should be functioning at all times)
– CE marked locks, handles, hinges and closers.
Each door is different though and the design and functionality of them can vastly vary from project to project.

How long do fire doors work for?

Broadly speaking, fire-tested doors can range from 30 minutes up to 4 hours, but the most commonly used ones are 30 and 60 minutes as this is typically the maximum time it would take to safely evacuate a building. Each door type will be tested in accordance with the requirement e.g. FD30 to ensure that it meets regulations.

Why are fire doors so important?

To save lives – You can never predict when a fire will happen. When fire doors are closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire and smoke. When opened, they provide a means of escape.

What is the difference between a fire door and a fire exit?

Put simply, a fire door is to protect, and a fire exit is to escape out of the building. There are many differences between the two though.

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What are the legal requirements of a fire door?

This can vary depending on the specification of the door and the requirements of the building. Each door needs to meet the safety standards of the building to ensure safe evacuation.

What are CE markings/BS certifications?

CE stands for Conformite Europeenne (European Conformity) and is used to ensure that the product has been assessed by the manufacturer and deemed to meet the requirements. It also provides a means of tracing materials back to the original manufacturer in the event of a fault.

BS stands for British Standard – this provides a framework for maintaining and improving compliance with data protection requirements and good practice.

When testing fire doors BS 476-22:1987 is used as the procedure for determining the fire resistance in regard to heat and pressure and BS EN 1634-1:2014 is the test for fire resistance and smoke control.

How often should fire doors be checked and who can check them?

Only a fire door inspector can inspect the doors and sign them off. The frequency of the check varies depending on the location, amount of use, age, and condition of the doors. Generally speaking, fire doors should be checked every 6 months, but this can be as often as 3 months in high-traffic areas. Also, if any damage is seen or there are issues with the hardware this needs to be reported and fixed immediately as it can impact the effectiveness of the fire door.

What are the most common issues you find when checking fire doors?

Excessive gaps that may be caused by the hinges weakening from misuses such as people propping the doors open or damage to the doors or the hardware that hasn’t been reported and maintained.

How Does Rotec ensure that our fire doors are safe and fit for purpose?

Our quality manager is Fire Door Inspection Scheme certified and signs off every single installation and all of our fire doors are tested by recognised bodies to ensure they comply and meet the regulatory requirements.
We’re also working on gaining further accreditations to ensure that we offer the highest standards of safety at every stage of our supply chain.

For more information about the fire doors we can supply, you can speak to our sales team

Robbie Shaw0161 439 4433 |

or speak to Jon today

Jon Wales0161 439 4433 |


Ready to discuss a project?