Stay on top of fire door safety

Founded by the British Woodworking Federation in 2013, Fire Door Safety Week aims to raise public and business awareness on the critical role fire doors play in protecting life and property. From not reporting a problem with a fire door to not taking the proper steps to ensure fire doors can operate as effectively as possible, studies show serious misunderstandings and mistakes when it comes fire door safety. Ultimately, staying on top of the correct specification, maintenance, and management of fire doors can be the difference between life and death for building occupants. Indeed, fire doors are a legal requirement in all non-domestic commercial and public buildings, as well as residential flats and multi-occupancy homes.

Fire safety at work

Fire-rated doors are more common in commercial buildings than residential structures. As per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), it is the responsibility of businesses to ensure the appropriate fire safety measures are in place to protect their employees and property. This includes the state of fire doors. Business owners who do not correctly carry out their obligations face prosecutions and ultimately the serious and potentially fatal consequences associated with a fire breakout.

Just recently, a large fire at Northwick Business Park in the Cotswolds, highlighted the very real risk of fires for businesses. From carrying out the proper fire risk assessments to ensuring fire doors and locks are correctly managed and maintained, businesses have a legal obligation to stay on top of fire safety and protect employees.

There’s no smoke without fire(doors)

So, what is a fire door and why are they so important? Fire doors restrict the passage of toxic smoke and fire through building. Commonly located in escape routes such as corridors and entrances and exits, they help prevent a fire from spreading, keeping it contained and ultimately helping to save lives.

Fire doors are constructed of materials, like timber, steel, gypsum, and aluminium, that work together to slow or stop the spread of flames and smoke. Importantly, fire doors need to be fire rated, meaning they’ve undergone rigorous tests conducted by independent laboratories to ensure they pass the threshold of fire safety. They may be certified FD30 (providing 30-minute protection), FD60 (60-minute protection) or higher.

Fire rated locks

The door itself isn’t the only thing that undergoes thorough testing to meet fire safety and quality standards. Hinges, closers, latch, handles and locks must all be tested to BS EN 1634-1, a standard which guarantees that all the finished components fitted to a fire door will ensure the doors integrity and resistance to fire for a specified period of time.

At Codelocks, our range of Mechanical, and Electronic mortice latch models have been assessed according to this standard when fitted with Codelocks’ FireKit Pack. Together, they provide protection on 30-minute and 60-minute fire doors.

Codelocks’ FireKit comprises pre-cut intumescent pads which when exposed to heat expand to fill gaps and prevent fire and smoke seeping through. This intumescent material is fitted onto the back of the strike plate and latch, inside the spindle hole recess and, for electronic locks, the power cable hole. Intumescent tubes provided are also inserted into the fixing holes prior to securing the lock to the door.

Codelocks’ FireKits are popular with many new installations, however, there will be countless fire doors where locks have been fitted without the correct intumescent and are a potential hazard. Any Codelocks latch lock product can be removed from a door and refitted with a Codelocks’ FireKit.

Make sure your fire door is equipped with a fire rated lock and kit, explore our Codelocks range here.


27, Sep 2023

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