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Oct 01 2015

4 Fire Door Checks to Prevent the Spread of Smoke

As I’m sure you are aware, most fire deaths aren’t caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. Smoke can overcome victims very quickly, leading to incapacitation and the inability to exit the building.

Since the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order – 2005 the responsibility of fire prevention has fallen to a “responsible person” within the building, meaning it is up to that person to ensure life-saving, fire prevention assets such as fire doors are properly maintained and able to perform should a fire break out.

With smoke being such a dangerous part of any fire we wanted to focus on 4 fire door checks you can make, so that if a fire does break out, you can be sure your fire doors will perform.

1. Control of Door Gaps

Gaps between fire doors and the door frame should never be more than 4mm or less than 2mm. It’s recommended to aim for a 3mm gap to ensure adequate room for the intumescent strips to activate in the event of a fire, and for the smoke seal strips (if installed) to not get damaged by the opening and closing of the door.

Top Tip: If you have an Acrovyn Swatch on your desk, use 2 Acrovyn sheets to test the size of the gap. Standard Acrovyn is 2mm, if you can get any more than 2 sheets of Acrovyn in the door gap it’s too big, and if you can’t fit one in at all it’s too small.

2. Ensure the Smoke Seal Closes the Gaps

If smoke seals are installed, it’s important to make sure that the smoke seals are closing the gaps in the door ensuring there is no gap from the end of the smoke seal to the door frame. Smoke will squeeze through any gap, no matter how small.

3. Ensure there are only limited amounts of unprotected region around the door

As we’ve said already, smoke can squeeze through any gap, no matter how small, so ensuring there are little or no gaps in intumescent and smoke seal protection is important.

The smallest defect or missing piece can cause a fire door failure. Breaks in intumescent are inevitable, especially on the hinge side, but as long as the hinges have been protected with intumescent sheets behind them, there shouldn’t be an issue.

4. Make sure the door closer can close the door against the seal

Fire doors are often used on a daily basis with people passing through them regularly. Constant use can lead to fire doors deteriorating quicker, so it’s important to check the most active doors more regularly.

A problem we often see is that a door may have dropped, or become warped from being held open for long periods, resulting in the door not closing properly, this is especially prevalent with double doors. If the door doesn’t close properly, it won’t perform in the event of a fire, so if you notice this on one of your doors, it’s important to rectify it immediately.

CS Acrovyn® Fire Doors

As a fire door manufacturer we understand the role of fire doors and the importance of keeping them well maintained. The fire doors we produce are classified as Severe Duty (Class 4) by the BS EN 1192:2000 ‘Doors – Classification of strength requirements’ procedure, meaning a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance requirement. They also come with extensive fire test evidence and a third party certification to prove their performance.

CS Acrovyn Doors are designed to stand up to extensive daily wear and tear and are used in a wide range of applications including healthcare, education, leisure and transport environments.

Utilizing our tried and tested Acrovyn impact resistant covering for increased performance and extended lifecycle, they are available in a wide range of colors, configurations and designs to satisfy operational, performance and aesthetic requirements.

Click here to view the Acrovyn Door product line.