Fire Doors are one of the most common misconceptions we encounter as Ironmongers. Fire Door, Fire Escape Door– they’re the same thing right? Well actually no; the two are very different and as such have different ironmongery requirements.
A Fire Door is a door that has been tested for a particular level of fire resistance. The most common fire rating for a fire door is FD30; meaning that it provides and has been tested to achieve 30 minutes fire protection. Fire doors are used to compartmentalise buildings. In the event of a fire, these doors will slow down the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building without hindering passage for people too much.
All certified Fire Doors will have been subjected to an integrity testing procedure in order to determine their FD rating. Fire Doors are always tested in what is known as a door set with a frame and all necessary hardware such as latches, hinges, locks and door closer. Appropriate intumescent such as hinge pads and smoke and fire seals should be used in order to comply with the relevant fire rating. This means that should you install CE marked ironmongery on a fire door but deviate from the conditions under which it was tested as a doorset; the door may not be fire rated. Also, if there is any damage to the door’s integrity; the fire rating will be compromised.
Fire Doors must never be manually propped open and if they need to be held open for general day to day use, electromagnetic door closers or retainers can be used when linked up to a fire alarm so that they will close in the event that the fire alarm is triggered.
A Fire Exit Door is an external door or an internal escape route door that does not have to be fire resistant but does need to be easy to open from the inside in an emergency situation. In some instances, a form of lock is required to maintain security on the outside and there are various products available that achieve this. Many manufacturers have designed panic hardware that can incorporate a push bar or push pad and an outside exit device (OED) with a keypad.
Fire Escape Doors or Final Fire Exit Doors should be fitted with relevant panic hardware. There are two harmonised European standards for this:
EN 1125 (formerly BS EN 1125) – relates to Panic Bolts, Push Bars and Touch Bars that are to be used in any environment that the public has access to and people that will not have prior knowledge of the operation of the exit device on the door.
EN 179 (formerly BS EN 179) – Relates to Panic Bolts and Push Pads in an environment where “trained” traffic will be using the door and know how the emergency exit device operates. I.E, they will know what side of the door the push pad is on.
All of our Fire Exit Hardware meets relevant European Standards.