Fire doors and fire door maintenance are essential for containing fire spread for a specified amount of time (usually 30 minutes or 60 minutes) in order to allow occupants of a building time to escape. Therefore, it is just as important to make sure that fire doors in your building are in full working order to ensure their effectiveness and that there aren’t any damage to their components. We would recommend inspecting your fire doors at a minimum every six months, but if the doors are being used very regularly in a busy area then it would be wise to check them more frequently.
All gaps around the door should measure no more than 4mm in width. Intumescent seals should be installed to reduce the flow of smoke and oxygen through the gaps between the door leaf and frame by insulating and protecting the gaps. Therefore, it is recommended that you aim for a 3mm gap to ensure that there will be enough room for intumescent strips to expand in the event of a fire, and to limit damage to the seals from repeated opening and closing of the door. It is important to make sure there is no space between the seals and the frame, as it would take only the smallest gap for smoke to be able to pass through.
There should be a minimum of three CE-certified hinges fitted to a fire door, with all screws intact. We would recommend they be replaced if you notice any damage, that they squeak when the door closes, and/or if there are no intumescent hinge pads fitted behind. As fire doors weigh a lot more than standard doors, fire-rated hinges are important as they are designed to carry a heavier weight and also to withstand wear and tear of regular use with a closer. A door closer, which must also be CE-certified, will need to be replaced if you see any damage or leakage or if it takes any longer than 25 seconds for the door to close.
Your fire doors should display a CE-marked label or plug on the top (or occasionally along the side). Without this certification, you cannot be sure that it is a genuine fire door.
If you suspect that your fire doors or their components are non-compliant, then please give us a call on 01606 558 727 for advice. We can provide full bespoke surveys and/or joinery remediation and replacement works to make sure that your fire doors do their job properly.