What are Fire Doors and Where Do We Need Them?
The role of a fire door
By SWD Team
FIRE DOORS are used to provide evacuation time between the outbreak of fire and the breakthrough from one room to the next. An open door provides no fire resistance at all: it can create drafts and turn a small fire into a large one surprisingly quickly. Self-closing doors are effective though unpopular, however to meet regulation 30 minute fire-resistant doors are used.
Where are fire doors required?
There are two areas where fire doors are always necessary; the integral garage and the third storey or above. Both require one-hour fire resistance on the separating ceilings (above in the case of the garage, below on the loft conversion), protection is provided by implementing the use of fire doors. The door between the garage and the main house has to be a fire door and additionally there has to be a step up from the garage into the house. This is to protect the house from any burning liquid that might spill out of a vehicle.
Upper storey’s are more complicated. A fireproof enclosure down to ground level as a means of escape is necessary. This involves ensuring that the walls around the stairwell are half-hour fire resistant and that the doors opening onto this enclosure are half-hour fire doors minimum. You also have to ensure that the route down to the ground floor exits, close to the front door and not into a high-risk fire zone, such as a kitchen. If this is difficult, you will instead be required to provide a second means of escape via an alternative internal staircase or an external fire escape. Properties over three floors need to have fire doors for all rooms that lead off of the staircase. Doors beyond these rooms – eg. dressing rooms or ensuites do not need to be fire rated as the protection is provide by the outer door.
In Brief …
- You will need fire doors in a privately owned single unit dwelling house only if it is over 3 storeys
- The area where a fire will rage and travel furthest is the stairwell – doors off of the stairs that are fire rated provide protection in order for people to make an escape.
- Doors that are in a higher part (such as loft) or lower part (basement) would be recommended to have 1hr or more fire rating to allow longer time for escape / emergency service assistance.
A properly installed, maintained and utilised fire door could mean the difference between a small, contained fire and a fire-ravaged building. It could mean the difference between life and death.When people think of Fire Doors, they typically think of the old boring style of metal or hardwood flush doors. These days however you no longer have to compromise on design, as our collection of fire doors combine both safety with luxurious style.
SWD supplied and fitted these fire rated door sets to a very contemporary home in Roehampton. We used our model 1004 in one of our bespoke white stains and the up lights added a beutiful dramatic effect to the doors and wall finishes. You can view more images of this project here.
Whatever style fire door you are looking for then at SWD we will have something for you.