Skip to main content

Fire Doors - The basics


A closed door can play a major role in preventing the spread of fire, smoke and hot gasses, but doors are not all equal with some made of flimsy egg box constructions, or single panel wood, others with standard glass. 

What is a fire door?

Purpose made certified Fire doors are designed to resist fire and prevent the passage of smoke and hot gasses for a designated period of time.  Delaying the spread of fire can enable people to escape a building safely and compartmentalise a higher risk area. Doors can be made of steel, wood or glass, providing they are made to the appropriate standard.

These are different from final fire exit doors and are found internally in a building.

How do I know if it’s a fire door?

Every fire door will have a label, often on the top edge of the door or along the hinge side.  The label will state the fire resistance rating, usually FD30 (30 minutes), FD60 (60 minutes), or even FD 90 & 120.

Other features include, intumescent strips and cold smoke seals which expand to fill the gap between the door and the frame.  These may be set into the door or the frame.

Self closing devices may be set above the door or within the hinged side (appears as a chain).

Glass in a fire door

Any glass should be fire resistant and be kite marked accordingly such as 11mm Pyroguard Fire Glass or Pilkington Pyroshield.  There are several other brands, but every pane will be stamped. Wired glass in commonly found in older fire doors.

Fitting a fire door

Fire doors should be fitted by a competent person to ensure they maintain their integrity and function.  All hardware on a door should also comply with BS regulations for hinges, locks and handles, and any other fitments.  Self closing devices should meet BS EN 1154 regulations.

The gaps around a fire door should be less than 4mm, excessive gaps will need adjustment of the frame or leaf.

Do I need fire doors?

This will entirely depend on the type of premises and the activities within. New buildings follow strict building regulations and certain types of buildings, such as care homes, hotels (even small ones) need fire doors.  In low risk premises it may be that a nominal (not tested) solid timber based door to a specified width will be adequate, or a door upgraded (notional) with intumescent strips and paint will suffice but this should be led by your Fire Risk Assessment.

Maintaining fire doors

Fire doors should be checked regularly to ensure they are closing and remain fitted correctly and no damage has occurred. Checks should be done monthly (often called the 5 step door check) where there is frequent use, with a full safety check by a competent person every year. The Fire Door Inspection Scheme found over 75% of fitted fire doors were defective in some way. 

Further help

We can help with Fire Risk Assessments, advice on doors and training on how to do your monthly checks.


Popular posts from this blog

EICR’s & Electrical Installation Certificates for Short Term Lets

What is an EICR? Electrical Installation Condition Report is an electrical safety certificate to show that all the fixed electrical equipment that is supplied through the electricity meter has been tested.  It’s basically the hard wired system through your property. Consumer board This is different from Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) which covers portable equipment and appliances such as washing machines, hairdryers, kettles and tv’s, and will be covered in a different blog post. Do Short Term Lets need an EICR? In short yes, Scotland is the only part of the UK where an EICR is mandatory for any short term let property.  Why do we need a certificate? Faulty electrical installations can cause electric shocks and fires by generating high temperatures. The risk of fire and shock can be reduced by ensuring the electrical installations and appliances are safe. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service figures for 2022 – 2023 show that 12% of accidental house fires and 6% of deaths are a resul

Furniture and Fire Regulations

Furniture is not just about aesthetics and comfort; it also plays a crucial role in safety, particularly concerning fire hazards. When furniture catches fire, it can have devastating consequences. The materials commonly found in furniture, such as upholstery foam, wood, and synthetic fabrics, are highly flammable and can ignite quickly. Once ignited, the fire can spread rapidly, producing toxic smoke and gases that pose a serious threat to occupants. In addition to the immediate danger to human life, furniture fires can also result in extensive property damage. Moreover, the toxic fumes released during combustion can impair visibility and hinder escape efforts, making it challenging for individuals to evacuate safely. Legislation and labelling.  In the UK, furniture must meet specific flammability standards outlined in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended) which significantly reduce the speed and which furniture will ignite and flames spread. All furn