What You Need to Know About Internal Fire Doors
Fire doors are not just any average door. They are specifically designed to stop fire from passing through; to stop the fire from causing more harm, or to keep the fire contained for a period of time until it can be put out. Fire doors are very common and in some places, mandatory. You will often find them in schools, hospitals, workplaces and sometimes in homes including shared accommodation and blocks of flats. Although fire doors can be a little more expensive than their standard counterpart, they save lives and, in a high-risk situation involving fire, could give you the precious extra minutes needed to make a safe escape.
Where Should You Have Fire Doors?
If your home has three or more storeys, including loft conversions, each habitable room off the stairwell must have a fire door. This will help to prevent the fire from travelling from its point of origin, damaging additional rooms and spreading across more flammable materials. If there is an internal door leading from the house into the garage, that door should also be a fire door. Other than that, there are no regulations that say a household has to have fire doors. Likewise, there is also nothing to say that a house cannot have fire doors.
Why Are Fire Doors So Heavy?
Fire doors are usually thought of as being big, heavy, ugly doors, and it’s true; in comparison to a standard hollow door, they will feel heavy due to their solid core and the materials used in their manufacture which allow them to prevent the passage of smoke and fire.
Due to all of the components that are involved in fire doors to ensure that they do their job, fire doors do have lots of weight to them. Although, the amount of weight does depend on what kind of door it is. Whether it is a door designed to hold the fire for 30 minutes (FD30), or 90 minutes (FD90).
As well as the actual door itself, there are other components that work with the door that wouldn’t usually be needed for a normal door. For example, special hinges are needed to hold the door that are stronger and will help the door keep its place when the fire is attacking it.
If you find yourself wondering why the fire doors you find in your office are different to those in a hotel or a home. This is because different environments require different levels of protection. The longer the door needs to prevent the passage of fire, the heavier it will be.
Why Do Fire Doors Need to be Kept Shut?
The fire doors, in order to prevent the passage of fire, need to be shut properly; especially when the building is empty, or the homeowners are asleep. The reasons for this are simple; if the door is open it cannot block anything coming its way. The door frame will let the fire straight through.
Sometimes, keeping these doors closed can be a hassle for homeowners. Some wedge the door open with things like a fire extinguisher, ironically, or a door wedge. Doing this is actually illegal, and un-safe. You can now install door guard fire door retainers. These will hold fire doors open legally and will release the door in the event of a fire alarm sounding. This is not only safe, but also extremely helpful, especially in a home.
Keeping internal doors closed, naturally, is one of the most effective precautions that can be taken. Even if the door isn’t a fire door it can help to slow the fire from spreading to other rooms for a short period time and deprive the fire from the oxygen it vitally needs. This will give time for the people to escape, firefighters to arrive and bring the fire under control.
If one little factor of the door is altered, it may not work like it did when it was made for a specific reason. This is the reason that professionals who have worked with fire doors before should make alterations to it. Fire doors are incredibly helpful, and provide a sense of security around the home or building. Deciding where you have fire doors, or even if you should have them can be tricky, especially as many homeowners believe that fire doors are unsightly and ugly. However, modern materials, manufacturing processes and design means that fire doors can actually now look almost indistinguishable from the other doors in your home. In fact, here at Doors & More we are proud to offer many of our doors also in FD30 approved fire door variations as well.
A correctly fitted fire door can save lives, so when you can get fire doors to match your existing interior doors, it really is a no-brainer.