Are all fire doors created equal?

Are all fire doors created equal?

When it comes to fire doors in residential buildings, each and every one has an essential and potentially life-saving role to play in the event of a fire. But some developers only request fire certification for flat entrance doors. Here we argue that all fire doors are created equal and make the case for a more comprehensive approach for fire door certification.

Fire doors – what’s required?

Fire doors are a must for blocks of flats or houses of multiple occupancy, with Building regulations Approved Document B2 setting out that fire doors with a 30-minute rating (FD30) must be fitted at entrances onto communal areas, and for flats 4.5m above ground level, between all habitable rooms as well.

The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in 2017 and subsequent inquiry saw fire and building safety regulations further strengthened, including through the Building Safety Act and The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.

This Act sets out that the responsibility for fire door maintenance for common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings falls to named ‘Accountable Persons’, who are legally responsible for safety checks of all fire doors including communal area doors and flat entrance doors. The new regulations apply to buildings with storeys over 18 metres.

These fire door maintenance inspections require the Accountable Person to assess any alterations or damage, any gaps around the door frame and if seals and hinges are fitted accurately, for example.
This new legislation then makes it even more important that fire doors come with the right certification and relevant information about their installation and specifications, in order to support this ongoing schedule of safety checks and maintenance.

Asking for certification

At Stairways we ensure that, for all our door sets, the constituent components have been third party tested together, so we are able to provide official fire certification for all the doors sets we provide to a site.

We also offer PinPoint – a readable data pin installed in the door containing its digital passport – comprising certification and specification information, installation instructions, manufacturer’s schedules, and component details, all to help with inspections and compliance going forwards too.
But even in the light of the new legislation, we find that many customers only seek certification for the flat entrance doors mistakenly thinking that these are the only ones that matter.

For example, when Stairways supplies all the doors for an apartment block this might include fire rated apartment entrance doors, fire rated risers, fire rated communal area doors and sometimes fire rated internal apartment doors. But customers so often only want and ask for the fire certification for the flat entrance doors.

Certification can seem like an unnecessary additional job – but in the event of a fire, flat entrance doors will not be the only doors that matter – in fact all fire doors should be treated as equal and each rightly regarded as important as any other.

If our customers request it, Stairways will send out the certification and documents for the whole project, not just specific items, ensuring that all certificates and information is available to the end user. We believe this is the right thing to do to ensure that these fire doors are well maintained and continue to serve their vital purpose years into the future.

So next time you’re looking for fire door certification, please keep in mind that it’s available for every fire door we provide – all you need to do is ask.

Stairways

Author: Stairways

Stairways, founded in 1989, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft production capacity. Stairways goal is to raise their profile and brand awareness to become known throughout the industry as the UK’s leading staircase and door solution provider.

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Commitment

As a highly reputable firm within the industry, Stairways are dedicated to meeting their client’s product and application requirements. All materials used are manufactured to the highest quality and meet the relevant standards achieving ISO9001, FSC®, and various product certifications, whilst their staircases and door solutions are manufactured with compliance to UK building regulations & legislative standards in mind. Using the knowledge, passion, and experience acquired across all team members over the past thirty years, Stairways aim to continue to be the best in what they do.

THE FUTURE

Stairways are continuously looking for opportunities to improve and expand their service offering; this includes the investment in new machinery to further enhance and innovate the manufacturing process, with the aim to shorten lead times and increase overall in-house capacity. The changes Stairways employ are always focused upon improving the customer experience, to ensure their process remains as efficient as possible from start to finish.

THE HISTORY

Privately owned and managed since it was founded in 1989, Stairways has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Starting as a small staircase manufacturer, Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft of bespoke and mass production capacity.