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What is a Fire Door? A Comprehensive Guide

Fire doors are purpose-built to withstand worst case fires within structures for as long as possible. They are designed to compartmentalize and delay the spread of fire from one area to another, forming a crucial part of a passive fire protection strategy. 

A fire door generally refers to a complete door assembly, assembled on-site from components or delivered as a completed doorset. A full fire door consisting of the door frame, leaf or leaves, essential hardware, edge seals, glazing, and any integral side panels or fanlight panels in an associated glazed module. Certified fire doors will be given a fire-resistance rating, which details the length of time the doorset and its materials will be able to withstand smoke and fire – anywhere from 15 minutes to serveral hours, depending on the rating. They are fitted with intumescent strips (or seals) which react to heat expand to fill the gap between the door and the frame. 

Fire doors have a few vital safety features and really can be the difference between life and death. Two of the most important functions fire doors have are: 
• A barrier to stop the spread of fire.
• A safe route and means of escape.

It is imperative that fire doors receive regular inspections – frequency is likely to depend on many factors, including the age and condition of the door. The British Woodworking Federation recommends periodic checks should be carried out every six months as a minimum. Newly occupied buildings may require more frequent checks in the first year of use, while doors with high traffic volume should be checked on a weekly or monthly basis. These fire doors are far more susceptible to damage because of more frequent use and will likely also form an important barrier in the event of a fire to communal areas – particularly in multi-residential housing blocks.

It is also important that reputable and trained fire door inspectors carry out fire door inspections and trained installers fit them to ensure they are fit for purpose. Worryingly, the Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), which carries out checks on fire doors, found that 75% of all fire doors inspected in 2021 in the UK were condemned as not fit for purpose. The scheme found similar results in 2019 after carrying out inspections, as it highlighted that all users should report maintenance issues and play a proactive role in ensuring faults are quickly addressed.

In conclusion, fire doors are an essential component of any building's passive fire protection strategy. They save lives by compartmentalizing fires and delaying their spread. Regular inspections by reputable inspectors are necessary to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.

Discover the JELD-WEN fire door range here

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Fire Doorsets

A fire doorset is a precisely designed and engineered component set that comprises of the door leaf, the door frame, hardware, intumescent seals and smoke seals. Fire doorsets are designed to stop the spread of fires and smoke for a certain amount of time. Fire doorsets help to protect exits, ensuring that people are able to evacuate in the event of a fire. A safe means of escape is vital if a fire breaks out in your building, and the right doors can help to ensure clear the area effectively. They can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings to provide protection from fires.

When looking for a fire doorset, it is important to consider factors such as the fire rating (FD30 or FD60), the size and style of the door, and the hardware and seals included. It is also important to ensure that the fire doorset is installed correctly by a qualified professional to ensure maximum protection. 

JELD-WEN provides an extensive range of glazed and unglazed fire rated doors for commercial and domestic projects. Our range of fire doors offers an unrivalled choice with a selection of stylish designs and finishes that are both striking and safe. All fire-resisting doors are manufactured with solid cores. These provide varying levels of fire protection depending on the rating. These ratings start at FD30, which offers 30 minutes fire protection. We also have the option of FD60 rated doors, which as the number suggests, offers up to 60 minutes of protection from fire.

JELD-WEN always recommends using a professional to install any fire door so it is done in accordance with their fitting instructions and certification data sheet. This is to ensure the highest level of fire safety as incorrect installation can drastically reduce the effectiveness of a door’s fire resistance. All JELD-WEN UK fire doors and doorsets are manufactured under the Certifire product certification scheme and have a unique identification number ensuring traceability. We are also members of a wide array of technical schemes, alliances and initiatives such as the BWF in our commitment to providing reliable, quality solutions. You can learn more about our third-party certification and its benefits in our blog here.