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How to correctly identify a fire door?

According to data from Ironmongery Direct 2017's research nearly 6 in 10 people do not know how to correctly identify a fire door. This is a concern because if you cannot identify a fire door you will not know to check it for defects and continue to maintain it. So, we have put together a simple list of what to look for when identifying a fire door.

What to look for when identifying a fire door?


The most reliable way to identify a fire door is to look for its certification label. All JELD-WEN fire doors will have a certification label on the top edge of the door leaf. This label will state the manufactures name and telephone number, the Certifre certification number and it will also state the fire rating of the door for example FD30 (30-minute fire resistance). This label shows that the door has been manufactured in accordance with the third-party accreditation for the purpose of a fire door, however it will only be affective as a fire door if it is installed and maintained correctly.


When correctly installed the gaps around the tops and sides of a fire door should be less than 4mm thick. Use a £1 coin to check as these are about 3mm thick.

Intumescent Seals

These seals are essential to prevent the spread of flames and smoke. They swell in heat to seal the gaps between the door and the frame. Open the door and check the frame for a thin strip running down the middle.


A fire door must have at least three hinges, any less and this is not an effective fire door. Open the door and check all hinges are firmly fixed with no damage or missing or broken screws

Closing Mechanism

A fire door will have a closing mechanism on the top of the door to close itself firmly into the latch from a halfway-open position. It should not stick on the floor or on the frame. This mechanism ensures a fire door is always correctly closed, as a fire door that is not closed will not protect lives in case of emergency.  To check the mechanism, open the door halfway, let go and see what happens when it is allowed to close itself.


In certain settings such as office buildings fire door regulation state that signage is required to clearly indication that a fire door is in fact a fire door. This is one of the simplest ways to identify whether you are looking at a fire door.


Now you know what to look for when identifying whether a door is a fire door you must also make sure you are regularly inspecting the door to ensure it will still preform its responsibility and if you find any problems you should report them to the building owners or if you have them in your own home you should contact a qualified installer to perform maintenance on the door to ensure it will still protect your home and family in case of emergency.

Want a handy checklist to help check fire doors?

The British Woodworking Federation have a helpful to help you check if there are issues with your fire doors

Download now