Plus, Other Frequently Asked Questions
Fire doors, they’re probably not the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning. However, you’ll encounter them in basically every aspect of your day-to-day life. Whether it’s commercial properties, residential flats, or even your office space, fire doors should be a regular fixture for places practicing good fire safety.
It’s not just a simple matter of setting them up either, there’s a plethora of regulations and standards fire doors have to meet before installation. So, if you’ve got any lingering questions, such as can you paint a fire door, then stick with Firescape as we’re on hand to settle all of your queries.
How Do Fire Doors Work?
Fire doors are quite cumbersome things and are much bulkier than your typical door frame, standing at around 10mm thicker than the average. There are several components in their make-up, with specialised frames, hinges, and handles, all of which must be ‘fire-rated’, which means they pass a standard fire resistance test. They will also have smoke seals built-in, which are designed to expand in the heat. This creates an airtight seal, so that no smoke may pass through the entryway. Statistics suggest that over a third of all fatalities in fire-related incidents are caused by toxic fumes, so the need to stop this is paramount.
Due to their sturdy nature, fire doors actively stop the spread of flames and this should factor in when escape routes and emergency evacuations are planned out. Most fire doors will carry a rating of FD30, which means it will offer protection against fire for at least thirty minutes. Beyond that maker, the door may sustain too much damage and will thus be rendered unusable.
How to Verify a Fire Door
There are a few things that identify a fire door as such. Let’s start with the most obvious; a sticker of certification. This can usually be found on the side or near the top of the fire door itself and will also show its fire-resistance rating. Outside of that, there are a few other visual cues that you can check to ensure your fire doors are fully compliant with government regulations. We’ve already mentioned the seals, but if you can see these are loose or protruding from the door, then they may be damaged or completely broken and might need replacing. Similarly, if you examine the hinges and find them to be ill-fitting or wobbly, then this is a cause for concern too.
A neat little trick you can do is run a £1 coin down the gaps at the side and top. These should measure at 4mm wide, so there should be 1mm space left when the coin is in. if this isn’t the case, then there may be a fault with the door itself. The last way to check is exceedingly simple; keep the door open halfway and ensure it closes properly by itself. These may seem like minor things, but they will verify the working condition of the door and could potentially save you in the event of a breakout.
Where are Fire Doors Needed?
This depends on the type of building, whether it is residential or commercial and its size. If you are living in a typical house, chances are you won’t be legally required to have a fire door, as evacuating the property won’t take a huge amount of time. However, if you’re the landlord of a rented block of flats or multi-house property, then there will be a much more comprehensive and stringent set of rules. If you want to see a detailed breakdown of these, check out our blog on where fire doors are required? for more information.
Can you Paint Them?
The short answer is yes! However, there are a few stipulations. First, even though you can use run-of-the-mill paint, it’s recommended you use fire-rated paint, just to be extra safe. Don’t paint over the hinges, seals, or any other safety components, as this could hinder the door’s effectiveness. Outside of that, you can let your creativity run wild; fire doors don’t have to be boring. If you want to, you can even add glazing! As long as the door itself is safe and in-line with government regulations, you can customize the aesthetics to your heart’s content.
Be Safe with Firescape
While installing fire doors can be a difficult and long task, there are smaller steps you can take to ensure your safety. One would be to get a fast-acting, effective extinguishing solution. For that, Firescape has just the thing; Pan-Safe and Spray-Safe. The former is designed to deal with tough-to-tackle chip pan fires, weighs just 120ml, so you can carry it with you, essentially, anywhere. The latter has more general applications and comes in the form of a 335ml aerosol extinguisher. Both can be stored in cabinets, draws, and even glove compartments, and they each use Firescape’s patented extinguishing solution, which is the eco-friendliest on the market. Every product in our range has been independently tested by industry experts and is approved by the London Fire Brigade. If you want to try the next stage in home fire safety extinguisher technology, head on over to our homepage for more.