PFM 20 7 - Page 30

health & safety
7 Deadly Sins - Common Faults Lead to Fire Door
Failure in Less than Five Minutes
fire door test which
replicates the seven most
common defects spotted in
social housing flats and apartments
shows just how quickly those doors
will fail if incorrectly specified and
As part of Fire Door Safety Week (25
September – 1 October), the BWFCertifire Scheme has released a
dramatic video of a fire door burn test.
The video compares two almost
identical fire doors with the same fire
rating – FD30, meaning the door
should provide at least 30 minutes of
protection. This is the most common
integrity rating for UK fire doors.
One door is correctly specified and
installed, but the other has a series of
faults which are frequently identified:
1. The door is secured with only
two, non-fire rated, standard
hinges (For a standard
height fire door, a minimum
of three hinges should be
installed to prevent the door
from warping in a fire.)
2. There are excessive gaps
between the side of the door
and the frame. (The gaps
around the door should be
less than 4mm once the door
is shut.)
3. Intumescent and smoke
seals are missing. (These
are vital to the fire door’s
performance as they fill the
gap between the door and
frame when the door is
4. The door has a non-fire rated
letter plate. (Letter plates
must be suitable for use on
the specific fire door and
detailed on the fire door
certificate as a compatible
component. Letter plates
must also be fitted in the
correct location within the fire
door leaf and fitted with the
correct intumescent
protection and fixings.)
5. The air transfer grille does not
have an intumescent block
fitted inside.
6. Intumescent edge protection is
missing around the glazing
7. A non-fire rated panel was
installed above the door.
The video shows the incorrectly
specified fire door failing long before the
30 minutes it should last, highlighting the
importance of correct fire door
installation and maintenance. Without
the protection of intumescent interlayer
and intumescent seals, the faulty door
allows smoke to pour through the gaps
after just four and a half minutes.
Hannah Mansell, BWF technical
manager and spokesperson for Fire
Door Safety Week, says:
“This test is not an academic exercise.
This is about life and death. Just imagine
being in front of a faulty fire door, relying
on it to buy you time to be saved from a
fire, and seeing it fail before your eyes.
“Fire doors are in almost every building
where we work, live and sleep and they
are often never given a second thought.
But they must be specified, fitted and
maintained correctly with compatible
components that have been third-party
certificated. This is the only way to
ensure that the fire door performs to its
intended fire rating. Every tiny detail and
every split-second counts.”
All BWF-Certifire members offer thirdparty certificated fire doors and
components that have been rigorously
assessed and audited. Through the
scheme approximately 2.5 million fire
doors are tested and certified each year.
This year’s Fire Door Safety Week
campaign is raising awareness of the
critical role of third-party certificated fire
doors in high-rise buildings, houses of
multiple occupancy and other types of
shared accommodation.
Reader Reply: 207031


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