During construction of buildings and apartment complexes, you might have seen a notice requiring the installation of fire doors. What are these doors and do you need fire doors in your house? Considering that a good majority of small-scale blazes do unfortunately erupt in houses or in residential complexes, the regulations and the laws surrounding the installation of fire doors are very much stringent about where a fire door is required, and where it isn’t necessary at all. So, we will answer the question ‘do I need fire doors in my house’, but first, lets get to know fire doors a little more.
What is a fire door?
A fire door is an integral part of the passive firefighting defense mechanisms within an enclosure. It is essentially a door, made of fire-resistant materials and placed in key junctions and rooms across a structure to ensure that if and when a blaze erupts, the flames are limited to a singular area, thereby slowing the spread of the blaze and ensuring optimal time for evacuation is available.
Fire doors are important, not in the sense that they actually fight off flames; that job is reserved for active firefighting measures, which might include fire retardants, extinguishers and sprinkler systems installed within complexes. These actively try and extinguish the fire. Fire doors, on the other hand, do not actively fight the fire: instead, they passively fight it. By limiting the spread of the flames and keeping the occupant-heavy areas of the residential complex shielded away from fire, the doors form the basis of passive firefighting measures.
What is a fire door good for?
Limiting flames might not look all that important, but the key thing here to consider is that in the event a fire does start, the primary objective is of safe evacuation. Which can get a little difficult since fires can cause structural weaknesses, and may compromise the exit or entry passageways used for the evacuation. Also, flames that have engulfed an entire structure are difficult to douse; which is why firefighting is such a dangerous job and takes a lot of time.
Fire doors solve these two problems effectively. The primary purpose of a fire door is to box in the flames, and not allow it to spread any further. This gives valuable time to emergency services to respond and safely evacuate any occupants that might be in the building. And when the actual firefighting does start, since the flames have been limited to a small area, the actual process of dousing it becomes much easier.
What is a fire door made of?
The materials used for the construction of the fire doors are primarily fire-retardant materials, and any others that might also stop the conduction or radiation of heat to other areas of the building. The most popular materials are steel, fiberglass and fire-rated glass. Treated wood is also used by some manufacturers. The best materials guarantee an FD60 rating, which the NHS approves as ‘able to contain combustive processes for an hour’, while normally fire doors with FD30 rating are used, which can contain flames for atleast 30 minutes.
Regulations for fire doors
The regulations for fire doors and their installations within building structures with occupancy exceeding a certain level are controlled by the NHS. These are surprisingly lenient; there are only two stipulations which regulate where fire doors are required and need to be added to the construction and the floor plan to ensure compliance with all local regulations.
Fire doors need to be installed in all commercial/ residential properties with 3 floors or more.
Fire doors need to be installed around rooms more vulnerable to catching fires; these may include kitchens, IT server rooms and any other room where any flammable materials may be stored.
Do I need fire doors in my house?
The simple and quick answer is: no. Houses and residential units usually don’t exceed two stories; the regulations around fire doors make it very clear that houses or residential units below three stories do not need to have fire doors within their construction. However, if your house or residential unit does have three or more stories, then a fire door is a regulatory installation; mandatory to be in compliance with building laws and regulations. The idea behind this is since the occupancy will increase exponentially with each floor added, and a third story increases the number of staircases and further increases the time required for evacuation in the case of a fire, therefore, fire doors be placed in such buildings to ensure nothing untoward happens.
So, if your house or residential unit is only one to two stories high, you don’t need to have fire doors installed. However, fire doors are an important part of the passive firefighting mechanisms; unless you are absolutely certain that no fire will ever break out in your home, you can choose to not have fired doors and any fire-retardant system in the household. But since kitchens can catch fire rather easily, you need to have fire doors; not only will they keep your family safe, give them time to evacuate and allow for less damage, fire doors, when placed in the right configuration, can also keep any valuables you might have in the house safe, and away from the destructive fire. Based on this alone, we’d recommend fire doors for every house, because you need to be prepared to deal with all eventualities, and fire doors are your first and most significant line of defense should the worse come.
Trust your and your house’s safety to Ignis Doors
Your family and your house are the two things that you worry about the most. A fire is the most unfortunate and dangerous thing that can happen to both of these, and what you need at such a time is protection with the best fire door. A fire door that does it all: protect the valuables within the house, give the occupants plenty of time to evacuate and contains the fire so that the damage is limited. The best fire doors will do all that: and Ignis Doors, who are the experts in both fire doors and fire safety, will go beyond. With their fire doors rated FD60 and FD30 as well, these doors will ensure that absolutely nothing untoward happens to you, your family and any valuables you may have in the house. With Ignis Doors, you can trust everything and absolute safety from a fire. Here’s why you should go with Ignis Doors for your fire doors.
- Expert design, construction and manufacturing of fire doors designed to maximise passive safety and fire retention.
- No foam or honeycomb infills used in any fire doors.
- Solid core build, using only the best and most fire-repellent materials.
- Best-in-class quality and service everytime!