Make sure your fire door specification doesn’t go up in smoke
Specifying fire doors correctly is critical but can be daunting as each door can have so many different elements. So how can you be sure that the fire doors you buy are fit for purpose?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are three key questions you should ask:
1. Does it have 3rd party certification?
Your single most important question is asking if your supplier has 3rd party certification. Anyone who sells fire doors must show that their products meet certain standards but only 3rd party certification means they have been independently checked. There are a few schemes available but the most well-known are Certifire and Q-Mark. Dorplan is certified by both. 3rd party certification ensures that every element in the door is traceable through the supply chain and all the processes that have been carried out to the door maintain its fire integrity.
2. Does it meet the right standard?
All fire doors should meet one of these standards: BS 476 or BS EN 1634-1. BS 476-22 sets out how non-load bearing elements of a building (e.g. doors) should be fire-tested, while BS EN 1634-1 sets out fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable windows and hardware elements. If you search for Dorplan on BM TRADA’s website (for Q-Mark certification), you will see one of the references above next to all our products, along with a time that shows how long it can resist fire. Worth knowing: BS (British Standards) are unaffected by Brexit.
3. Is what you’re buying the same as what has been tested?
Tests are carried out on complete doorsets – a door, a frame and all the seals and hardware are put together by the manufacturer for the test. However, it’s unlikely that you will choose exactly the same hardware that was tested. If you have to check fire ratings for every element (hinges, handles, locks, plates, glazing, seals etc), it makes your life much more complicated. This is where good technical support comes into its own.
At Dorplan, our expert team will check all this for you. They’ll make sure that ALL elements of the doorset meet the relevant standard so the overall performance achieves or exceeds your requirements. You will receive a certificate verifying that your spec meets the standard. The Fire Safety and Building Safety Bills will change a number of aspects of fire safety in buildings but won’t change the standards themselves so as long as you follow the principles set out here, you can be sure that the fire doors you specify will be as safe as houses.
Get in touch today for help with your specification!