Fire Door Furniture
Fire Door Furniture
In the event of a fire, one of the important ways in which we protect people and property is to control and prevent the spread of the fire where possible. One of the techniques used to achieve this is the installation of fire doors at points throughout the building. An oft-overlooked yet vital step in having a fire door which meets the legal standards, and is efficient at preventing the spread of fire, is to fit certified fire door furniture. This article aims to explain the different varieties of fire door furniture available and how they will enable you to follow the appropriate safety procedures.
What Is A Fire Door And Who Needs Fire Door Furniture?
A fire door is designed to slow the spread of fire and reduce the amount of smoke present in a building, allowing for safer evacuation in the event of a fire. Specifically, a fire door is a door with a fire protection rating. Part B of the UK Building Regulations specifies the need for fire doors within buildings as part of the minimum fire protection requirements. In order to comply fully with these regulations, the fire doors need to be fitted with all appropriate fixtures and fittings.
Fire doors are necessary in all commercial buildings, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Act 2005. They are also required to be installed within mixed use buildings between the residential and business areas of the property. Finally, fire doors are now required in houses with more than one storey that have a door leading from a garage into a house, and in any new build or renovated property with three or more storeys, including loft conversions. In these buildings fire doors should be fitted to each room leading from a stairwell on each floor, excluding only toilets or bathrooms. Since each of these fire doors needs to have the appropriate fixtures, or furniture, to meet the required safety standard, anyone who wishes to meet the minimum safety standards is in need of fire door furniture.
How Does A Fire Door Work?
Fire doors are not intended to prevent a fire from spreading, but to slow the spread and minimise the amount of smoke travelling through the premises in order to allow for the safest possible evacuation. The most commonly available fire doors are FD30 or FD60, allowing for 30 or 60 minutes evacuation time respectively- but these times are only applicable where the correct furniture has been added. Without the full set of fixtures the burn time can be much, much, faster.
Fire doors should typically be kept shut at all times, or have a mechanism in place to allow them to be open during daily use but close immediately in the event of a fire. They should never be obstructed, or wedged open- being found to have done so can result in a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. In order to be certain that your fire door is in full compliance with the appropriate regulations, you should organise a full risk assessment to be carried out on your property.
There are very few premises which are not expected to have at least one fire door installed. For everyone else, the fire doors and their furniture are a stringently enforced legal requirement. Available furniture includes door closers, retainers and panic bolts, all of which help to contribute to both the safety and security of your premises. Above all things, it pays to be safe.