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How long should fire doors keep fire out?

In the terrible event of a fire breaking out in a building, it is essential that measures and precautions are in place to help evacuate people to safety as quickly as possible. Perhaps the most vital component in that would be the fire resistant doors installed. These fire doors can make the difference in saving lives and a building being completely destroyed by the flames and heat.

Here are some aspects you need to consider, and understand, when taking fire safety precautions into account:

Necessities for a fire to burn

  • Heat – There must be a sufficiently high temperature to actually cause an ignition – a simple spark may be enough! It may be a match that sets alight an easily combustible material, such as paper – then, the more combustible objects the fire, or heat, come into contact with, the quicker the fire will spread.
  • Oxygen
  • Fuel – Once alight, the fire must have materials to burn to sustain and grow it.

Once a fire has been ignited, it will continue to burn as long as it has access to both oxygen and relevant fuel – and once sufficient temperatures have been reached, it may be enough to ignite other sources, thus causing the fire to spread. The heat is transferred through the three processes of conduction, convection and radiation.

Fire resistant doors

Once a fire is alight, then fire resistant doors can prove vital in protection of life and property. Different models are able to withstand fire for different lengths of time. They are able to do this because of:

Fire door design

When designing fire doors, it is not just the door itself that is considered – you will want complete door assemblies. These doorsets includes all the accessories to go with the doorframe and the door itself – so aspects such as intumescent fire door seals (these swell under extreme heat and seal the gaps between door and frame, therefore preventing the transfer of heat and smoke).

Fire resistant doors will be fitted (where appropriate) with fire resistant glass – ordinary glass will crack, break and fall out under extreme heat so allowing oxygen and heat to break through and spread the fire source into the surrounding areas. Fire resistant glass can withstand the heat for at least an hour before the temperature causes it to soften. All fire resistant doors will also be fitted with fire door closers, which are effective in closing doors from any angle of opening, and are strong enough to overcome ‘resistance’ from any latch or sealing system.

Positioning

The positioning of fire resistant doors in a building has to also be carefully considered. They should be installed in the best locations for people to evacuate quickly and safely, whilst the spread of fire and smoke is delayed by the fire doors.

How long can a fire door restrict fire spread?

Fire doors are designed and manufactured in different protection ratings. Normally, you can obtain fire doors in the following classifications:

FD30 – 30 minutes fire protection

FD60 – 60 minutes fire protection

FD90 – 90 minutes fire protection

FD120 – 120 minutes fire protection

As mentioned earlier, any fire resistance glass in these doors would withstand high temperatures for at least 60 minutes. All of these doors would be manufactured to the requisite UK and European standards therefore signifying the protection qualities have been tested and guaranteed.

Certifications

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