Raising fire door awareness vital
Howard Trotter, Business Manager of Birmingham-based window and door manufacturer Shelforce, reacts to the news that three quarters of the fire doors inspected in the UK did not meet the required standard.
News from the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) that three quarters of the fire doors inspected in the UK by its approved inspectors did not meet the required standard should be a warning for the building safety sector.
The last few years have brought a much-needed wake-up call on fire safety, not just for the fenestration industry, but for the construction industry and society more generally, but the FDIS’s data, based on more than 100,000 fire door inspections carried out by its approved inspectors in 2021, many on buildings with vulnerable residents such as healthcare, local authorities and housing associations, shows that more must be done.
FDIS revealed that the most common reasons for failure was due to improper installation, including excessive gaps between the door and the frame, care and maintenance issues, and issues over smoke sealing.
A greater understanding
A greater understanding of fire doors and their components, including testing and certification, regulations and standards, inspection, and maintenance is needed.
Any fire door installed must have a Field of Application from the manufacturer, which is the document that collates all the test evidence and makes the official statement that door sets within the size ranges listed are all compliant. Without it, the right door will not be fitted, making the consequences potentially catastrophic.
All fire doors must be third party audited for both fire and security compliance and have third party certification, which provides an additional level of assurance that the product is produced to the same specification and quality as that originally tested, and that the original test behaviour and criteria is both met and reliably maintained consistently.
They should reference and carefully check the manufacturer’s test evidence/certification and documentation for proposed fire door sets to ensure that it demonstrates compliance and meets the performance requirement in the Building Regulations guidance for fire resistance and smoke control from both sides.
At Shelforce we manufacture and supply our fully compliant 30-minute fire and smoke resistant Fireshel composite door system and are planning to offer a comprehensive fire door package with it for local authorities, ranging from fabrication through to installation, maintenance, and repair.
The Fireshel uses the FireFrame® dual fire, smoke and security compliant fire door set solution from Winkhaus which includes the FD30 / FD60 FireFrame® outerframe, and the Winkhaus AV2 auto-locking multi-point door lock with optional access control and is tested to resist security and fire including TS008 compliant letterplates, numerals, eye viewers, door knockers and security chains.
The door has achieved all the new stringent recommendations set by the MHCLG and has proven 30-minute fire resistance consistency having been fire tested from both sides many times to EN1634 -1, achieving 49 minutes fire resistance, and has also been PAS 024 Security tested. Fireshel doors are also Q Mark 170 Scheme third Party Accredited.
It’s crucial that trained fire door installers are used, and reputable and trained fire door inspectors conduct fire door inspections.
No corners cut
Raising awareness and encouraging building owners and users to check the operation and condition of their fire doors, and make sure they are regularly inspected and maintained, is vital.
Fire doors are not ordinary doors; they are a carefully engineered fire safety device and are critical to the fire safety of a building and preventing a loss of life and more understanding is needed to make sure a fire door performs as intended.
Product manufacture, quality installation, and maintenance are all life critical. After all, everyone plays their part in ensuring a fire door performs as it should and saves lives.
Shelforce specialises in providing high-quality PVCu and aluminium products to local authority building projects and has experience with all types of social housing refurbishment and maintenance. To find out more, call Shelforce on 0121 603 5262 or visit www.shelforce.com