Sadly, with fire door installations, it's very easy to waste money trying to do the right thing. We keep coming across schools, hospitals and businesses with newly installed fire doors that will still fail your next fire risk assessment...
It's not the business owner's fault. Your fire risk assessment says dodgy fire door... you get a new fire door installed but... your fire risk assessor is still not happy.
This blog post will show you how to avoid paying twice for getting this crucial part of your passive fire protection up to scratch!
As a business owner or property owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your fire doors are compliant with building regulations. That begins with a compliant installation!
This will only be more important as the government's Building Safety Bill makes its way into Law. This legislation promotes a cultural shift in accountability and responsibility within the construction industry.
For you, it means using qualified specialists will become obligatory.
It starts with tall buildings but construction experts expect that it will be applied to all commercial buildings over time.
So how do you get your fire door installation right? The answer comes next...
It's just a heavy door, right? Surely, any carpenter can install fire doors?
Yes. Any competent carpenter can do a decent job of installing your fire doors. With one exception. Ask yourself this:
It gets a little bit confusing. The code of practice for fire door assemblies does NOT require fire door installers to have a specific certification. But the Fire Safety Order stipulates they need to be fitted by a competent person. So what constitutes competent?
Does your carpenter understand how to install your fire doors to the tested and certified specifications of your door's manufacturer?
Your Responsible Person is obliged to manage fire safety in your building. Including your fire doors. How can s/he prove the doors were installed correctly?
Certified fire door installers undertake rigorous training and are audited. They MUST keep up to date with legislation to remain certified. A certified installer ensures your fire door installations are always compliant and fit for purpose. And importantly, will certify your installation.
And that certification is the proof your Responsible Person needs!
It concerns the components of the fire doors themselves. Everything is tested by the manufacturer and certified to work as intended. But if your carpenter makes an alteration to the door during installation or only uses 3 screws instead of six on the hinges... that certification is invalidated.
That's why you need to use Firas or BM Trada Q mark certified fire door installers. They know what alterations can or cannot be made AND will never compromise your certified fire door.
It's simple. Use a certified fire door installer and pay once. Use someone else, no matter how good they are as a chippy, and you risk paying twice!
A Firas or BM Trada Q mark certified fire door installer has had rigorous training. And importantly, practical testing. It's much more than a theoretical online CPD course.
Some companies encourage their engineers to take passive fire protection and fire doors CPD courses. These are held by excellent organisations and their fire door training is very good. But without that all-important Q mark certification, you can never be sure that your fire doors are up to scratch.
Many people think that any fire door will do, but that is not the case. And many people try to cut corners with fire doors. This won't end well. In order to be compliant, your fire doors must have been tested to make sure that they can withstand fire for a certain period of time.
Choose certified fire doors and fire door sets. Then make sure they are installed correctly, so that...
And this, ultimately, is what matters. Your certified fire doors will have an FD rating. This indicates how long it can withstand fire. When correctly installed your door will work as it should. But, incorrectly fitted, your door will not live up to its rating.
For example, your fire/smoke seals may not fill all the gaps around the door leaf. Or the intumescent strips may be damaged and fail to expand into the gaps fully so the seal is compromised.
Even the slightest gap or crack between the door and the frame, glasswork or seal can cause the fire door to become faulty. Meaning your fire doors fail to contain fire and smoke for as long as they should. And fall short of FSO requirements.
An FD30 fire door offers 30 minutes of protection. While an FD60 fire door offers 60 minutes of fire protection. The FD rating is assigned following stress testing, carried out by the manufacturer, to strict conditions specified in British Standards.
The most common fire door ratings are:
The key to compliant fire door installation in commercial properties is to work only with qualified and certified experts. This ensures your fire doors keep your fire risk assessor happy, your property protected and give your occupants time to escape in the event of a fire.
And you won't have to pay twice!
There are more issues than fire door installation that can trip you up. And that's why Blake's has created an easy to follow 6 step guide to fire door compliance.
We've met so many business owners, hospital managers and school headteachers who are confused about their responsibilities. Many have had to replace their new fire doors because they have invested in the wrong suppliers and equipment after failing their initial FRA. Only to fail it again with the new doors...
This guide shows you what you need to do to make sure your fire doors always remain compliant. Without wasting budget on the wrong suppliers and equipment. This 6 step guide fixes that problem and crosses fire doors off your Responsible Person's list.
Your best bet is to choose a specialist fire door company. A company with the BM Trada Q Mark or Firas certification. Then you're certain that your fire doors are certified and so tested to the relevant British standards. These will NOT let you down in a fire!
If you're in London or the South East, Blake's is an excellent choice. Blake's is fully qualified to install your fire doors and fire stopping. All works are fully compliant with legislation and carried out to BM Trada standards. We'll make sure you don't waste your budget installing fire doors that don't pass muster.
During the lockdown, we replaced 56 fire doors in a single wing of a hospital in South London. And made compliant repairs and replacements in 9 Academy School buildings that same year. We regularly work for councils, housing associations and other businesses in London, Essex and the South East.
If you go on the BM Trada website you can search for certified companies. You will find our Passive Fire Safety Manager, Martin Blake there. Approved for fire door Installation and maintenance AND fire stopping installation
So, if you want to make sure your fire door installations are compliant first time... Get in touch with Blake's. We've even created a quick checklist to get the conversation started. Click the image below to download yours
If you've got this far I'm sure you'll probably agree: to make sure your fire door installations are compliant, it is essential to work with qualified and certified fire door experts.
The key is to choose a company that is accredited by trusted industry bodies like BM Trada or Firas.
With the right fire safety partner on your side, you can rest assured that your fire doors will always be compliant. And your people and property are protected if a fire emergency happens.
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