Internal fire doors are used to maintain the compartmentation of a building that is on fire, thereby reducing the risk of a fire spreading. They also give access to escape routes, whilst limiting the passage of smoke throughout the building. Many insurance policies for businesses and commercial buildings require the installation of internal fire doors as a requirement to protect the building and its contents. Another use for fire doors is that they give firefighters more protection when they are attempting to put out a fire.
The majority of internal building doors are made from timber, which will give a most basic level of protection against the spread of a fire. However, only doors that confirm to Fire Door Standards BS476 and BS8214 will give the best level of protection. Internal fire doors are made from metal and are rigorously tested to ensure they meet guidelines and provide the best protection possible against the spread of fire. Such testing is carried out by a door being subjected to hot gas and fire, and a note of the time taken for the door’s integrity to be compromised. Internal fire doors should also have fire-resistant glazing, hinges and self-closing abilities.
Why use internal fire doors?
Fire doors should be inspected once every six months to ensure that they still have the ability to provide the desired level of protection against fire and smoke. Around 3 million internal fire doors are installed in the UK every year, and they are often a first line of defence in a fire to prevent the chance of it spreading throughout a building. It is vitally important that fire doors are well-maintained and are installed to the correct specifications to ensure that they can always protect the occupants of a building. Unfortunately, maintenance of internal fire doors is often not considered until it is too late. It is also common for occupants within a commercial building to have a lack of knowledge regarding their proper use, leading to instances such as fire doors being left open, or damage being left unrepaired.
Fire doors must be used near stairs or corridors where smoke could potentially pass through and spread.
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