FIRE RATED DOORS vs FIRE CERTIFIED DOORS
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
When it comes to Fire Certified and Fire Rated Doors, confusion
creeps in and catches a lot of people out. But which one do you need? Well,
this would depend on the fire risk assessment for the building. This can also
be an insurance related requirement, but it’s important to note that many
insurance brokers are not aware of the differences between fire rated and fully
We’d like to express the importance of the following information, it’s critical to remember that first and foremost, Fire Doors are a life saving device and that when required, they are 100% effective.
What is the meaning of Fire Certified Doors?
So, for a fire door to be certified, the door and frame must both be replaced at the same time. The reason being is that the doors and frames are manufactured together and have been tested as a package. This fire test is done under laboratory conditions and is monitored by a British Standard testing centre specifically for proving the fire worthiness of the door and frame.
The doors that have gone through testing will have specific hardware installed on the door, this means that any additional hardware pieces installed on the door will void it of having certification. Why you ask? Well simple, it’s because the door has not been burn tested with that additional piece of hardware and therefore, no one knows how it will perform. That’s why Fire Doors are usually sold as a standard pre-set that cannot be changed.
Fire Certified Doors will come with a physical certification directly from the manufacturer to state its approval. However, compliance isn’t just about the doors & frames! They must also be installed correctly in order to meet fire standards, this is critical! Even if a certified fire door is fitted correctly within its frame, the way that the frame is installed can be so wrong that it can render the whole door and frame installation much less effective. For example, the gaps behind the door frame also affect the fire worthiness of the entrance and must be dealt with accordingly. Large gaps that cannot be seen behind door frames are unfortunately much more common than you may think, so fitting a new fire door into an existing frame cannot be relied upon to deem the entrance fire certified.
So, what are Fire Rated Doors?
Fire Rated Doors are in a nutshell, a door that has been put together with fire resistant components and hardware however, as a complete door has not been put through a laboratory condition burn test. Therefore, nobody knows how it will hold up in an actual fire. It also does not have any type of certification indicating its performance expectations and results. The confusion that lies with a lot of people is that they think because they have a “Fire Rated Door” that regulations have been met and the doors comply, truth is, majority of the time they don’t comply. So, unless the manufacturer of that door can prove certification, chances are the door does not comply.
I have a Fire Rated/Certified Door, what are the different types of fire resistance and what do they mean?
When it comes to Fire Doors, they should all meet the necessary standards for safety and comply with regulations. These doors generally have the same features however, where they differ is usually the level of fire resistance that they can provide.
The most common FD Ratings:
FD30 – Provides 30 minutes of fire resistance
FD60 – Provides 60 minutes of fire resistance
FD90 – Provides 90 minutes of fire resistance
FD120 – Provides 120 minutes of fire resistance
So how do I know which FD rating door I have? Simple! The most common way to check your doors FD rating is by checking the certification label, these labels are usually found on the top edge of the door leaf. Door frames can also sometimes have a label marking and is highly recommended to, though this is not mandatory.
What are the maintenance and inspection requirements?
Legally, your fire doors should be checked at a minimum of once a year. However, we recommend that due to such importance of these doors, the minimum you should be looking at is once every 6 months. For high traffic heavy use areas, they should be checked more regularly as signs of wear will appear and occur more frequently due to increased use.
Are you a landlord, business owner or building manager? If so, you’re more than likely the “responsible person” as labelled under the Fire Safety Order and are responsible for the regular maintenance and checks of your fire doors. Hiring a trained professional to undertake these checks is as vital as the checks themselves as these individuals have had their competence and knowledge independently assessed and have in most cases achieved certification. In Next Doors Ltd’s case, we’re BM Trada certified which is the highest prestigious fire door certification in the U.K. and is the standard accepted and used by Government and MOD.
For all of your Fire Door requirements, please do get in touch and we can assist with every element of your request. You can reach us on 0843 523 1063 or alternatively send us an email.