One of the industry hot topics at the moment, and one of the main focuses of building inspectors, is the installation of fire-rated doors and door sets, especially the gap sealing between door frames and partitions.
Recent events have highlighted the unacceptable methods and workmanship in some installations and have created industry-wide concern.
It is therefore more important than ever that we are all aware of the standards and what we must do to ensure they are adhered to.
Many of you reading this may not be familiar with British Standard 8214. It is, though, one of the most important documents when it comes to the installation of a fire door.
What is in BS8214:2016?
BS8214:2016 was first published in 1990. It provides guidance on the installation of fire doors, especially the sealing of the gap between fire-rated door frames and the structural openings. It also contains information on labeling and marking, fire door terminology, specifying fire doors, doors, and frames, among many other things. This makes it a great tool to teach people about fire doors!
The section within the document about sealing of fire-rated frames goes through many examples of the correct way to install FD30 and FD60 timber fire-rated door sets. Currently, it only covers timber doors but there are plans to add other types to the document.
The document goes into very specific detail. Looking at just one small extract, it provides two options from many on sealing the gap between the fire-rated FD30 frame and the structural opening. It notes there are different rules for FD30 and FD60 situations. Doors that have a requirement for fire protection over FD60 you must refer to the fire certification. This is also the case for steel doors and any other non-timber-type doors.
If you do not have access to BS8214:2016, there are a couple of options for you. As a minimum, refer to the fire certification of the product which you are installing or using. This will often provide options for sealing the gaps. The second option would be to refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. In most cases, however, this will probably refer you to BS8214 and a copy of this can be obtained from the BSI online shop.
Joinery Contractors – purchase a copy of this standard and refer to it at all times. Adopt the suggested method of sealing the frames to the structural openings to ensure you are compliant. You can then stipulate that you have installed the product in line with this British Standard.
Site Teams – ensure the joinery contractor is using BS8214:2016 and referring to it when installing doors and door sets. You may wish to purchase a copy, but it is not essential.
Customers and Specifiers – specify and request that, in all instances, the product is installed to BS8214:2016.
Building Inspectors – ask the site and fitting teams if they have installed the product to BS8214:2016. If they have not, I would advise that you will need to view the sealing of the frames.
Remember, you may purchase a fantastic-looking and compliant door set, but if it is fitted incorrectly, it will not perform as it should and could put lives in danger.
Technical Manager (Doors Division)