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Types and Uses of Fire Doors in Commercial Premises

Fire Doors – Essential Passive Fire Protection

Fire doors are an essential part of any building’s fire prevention and safety system. There are different types of fire doors designed for different purposes. Understanding the uses and regulations surrounding these doors is essential for businesses. The two main types of are those that are designed to prevent the spread of fire and those that are used at fire escapes. Additionally specific doors can be fitted to high risk areas in a building, where sensitive substances or equipment are housed.


Fire doors operate to slow or stop the spread of fire. They should be fitted with seals that prevent the spread of smoke, which is the main killer in fires. These doors come with different specifications with most standard models offering a 30 or 60-minute protection period for escape or rescue. For sensitive or high risk areas of a building 60 minute doors are usually recommended. For this type of area it may be sensible to fit locks to restrict access to nominated staff. Doors offering 30-minute protection are suitable for corridors, offices or other general areas of the building, where the majority of staff or clients need access. All doors offering fire protection operate in a very simple way by restricting air to a fire and slowing its progress. Left open they become useless! For this reason, automatic door closers are usually fitted to these doors and they should all feature signage to identify them. Other automated systems include push button doors that only open when activated and close automatically.


Fire doors should be located to prevent the spread of fire and smoke to escape routes. Those located on escape routes from buildings must open outward to allow for easy escape. Internal fire doors can open in both directions if necessary for example; those in long corridors can legally open either way. External doors that are for escape can be locked, however the regulations AS 1851.7-1984 state that they must be easily opened by anybody in an emergency.
There are various ways to achieve this. An internal push bar can be fitted allowing anyone in the building to unlock the fire door and escape quickly. Electronic systems are available which unlock doors when the fire alarm is triggered or alternatively a key can be kept in a glass box next the door.

By far the most common reason for the failure of fire doors to function is simply that they have been propped open. Automatic doors can help to avoid this, but are not foolproof. Alternative systems include door retainers, which are systems that automatically close the door if the fire alarm goes off. Different systems will be suitable for different buildings or situations and often a combination of the types of fire door will be required. There are strict legal regulations governing the use of fire doors and ensuring that your premises comply is not only essential to avoid prosecution, but most importantly can save lives.

How do you know if you have the right door for the job? Contact our specialist team at Complete Fire and Pumps to find out..

Yours In Fire Safety 



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