Ignis Doors

Safety fire doors: the particulars

Date: 12/04/2024

Posted by: ignis

Fire doors are mandated by the UK government now for all new buildings of a specific size, whether commercial or residential. Given their apparent importance, fire doors are considered a crucial part of a building’s fire prevention system.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the particulars of a fire door and will explain to you why they are considered safety fire doors since the apparent connection between a door and fire isn’t readily apparent. Here is all you need to know about safety fire doors and why they are considered the perfect addition to a building’s passive fire prevention system. 

safety fire doors

Before we get into the details of safety fire doors, let us explain passive fire protection systems since they aren’t part of the regular lingo or popular enough. Passive refers to the fact that parts of this system do not actively prevent or extinguish fire; that is delegated to active measures like water sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and oxygen cutoff systems. Instead, what these do is box the fire in or prevent its spread over a large place.

This allows the occupants of the building to be evacuated safely and without any unfortunate accident. Passive fire protection systems, therefore, are geared towards providing ample time for the people to be rescued rather than dealing actively to extinguish the fire itself. 

Here is a comprehensive fire safety guide

Now, let’s start by looking at safety fire doors. 

Safety fire doors: what are they?

As the name implies, safety fire doors are structural parts of a building that are made out of special fire-resistant materials to help prevent a fire from spreading across the building. When combined with multiple fire doors installed strategically within a building, flames can be boxed in, preventing them from spreading to areas with higher occupancy and allowing for a timely and proper evacuation. 

 Safety fire doors form the central part of a building’s passive fire protection system; this means that they prevent fire from spreading in a building and allow for the occupants to be evacuated in an orderly manner. They are particularly useful in buildings where a fire hazard is present: restaurants, storage houses, warehouses, or depositories with flammable materials in them.

There are many types of fire doors, depending on their operation and their efficacy duration. Let us take a look at the types of safety fire doors. 

Safety fire doors: the many types

Safety fire doors are classified into two types: the first gauges them based on their ability to stand up to the flames, and the second describes their operation method. Let’s get into the types of safety fire doors now. 

Based on efficiency

  1. FD30: Fire doors that start with the rating FD use the latter number to denote the time a fire door can stand up to the flames. The most commonly used fire doors come with a rating of FD30, which means that their construction and materials allow the door to withstand flames for 30 minutes. After the passage of 30 minutes, the door’s structural integrity gets compromised. Since these doors provide only a preliminary level of passive fire protection, these are used in low-occupancy buildings where evacuation time needed can be short. 
  1. FD60: A step up from the FD30-rated fire door is the FD60 one, which, as the denomination suggests, can hold in flames for 60 minutes. This gives residents and occupants ample time to evacuate and is even better if some equipment needs to be moved out of the building. A perfect addition for buildings with high occupancy, they are common in office complexes and multi-story restaurants. 
  1. FD90: Utilising better fire-resistant materials and coatings, FD90-rated fire doors represent the next generation of passive fire protection systems that prioritize occupant safety above all else. Given their robust construction and flame-resistant coatings, these doors can stand up to the fire for 90 minutes, and, when used strategically across a building, they can pretty much mean that the fire won’t be affecting the key parts of a building. Since their construction makes them very resilient, they are used in places where occupants and equipment need to be moved. 
  1. FD120: FD120 doors are commonly used in commercial settings, and, as per their ability to hold in flames for two hours, are sparingly used in IT settings; for instance, server rooms, data centers, and other places where fires are more likely to break out. Providing exceptional fire protection, these fire doors are not used in residential complexes since their price point does not make them feasible for such applications. 

Based on operation

Safety fire doors are also classified based on their operation method. These include both automatic doors and pneumatic alarm doors. Let’s take a look at them. 

  1. Automatic fire doors: As their name implies, automatic fire doors operate electrically, shutting down and sealing off the flames. These are usually connected to a fire alarm, which, when activated, causes the fire door to shut down and seal itself. Since they are electric, the alarm usually also cuts off electricity to the building, but the doors will continue to operate. 
  1. Pneumatic fire doors: These are a type of automatic fire door that operate pneumatically, and are not dependent on electricity for their operation, making them viable in a situation where electricity is cut off to a building in the event of a fire. Much like the electrically operated automatic fire doors, these fire doors can also be connected to the main alarm, which will then operate the doors once activated. 

The bottom line

Fire doors are one of the best methods of latent fire protection, and using them in a building can afford you precious time in the event of a fire for an evacuation. There is a reason why the British government now mandates fire doors; their utility and usability are unrivaled, and they provide a crucial time buffer for occupants of a building to clear out of the burning building. Furthermore, strategically placing the fire doors can allow for the flames to be boxed in until firefighters arrive, giving them much more ease in dousing the fire. All in all, fire doors are a crucial part and should be included in your construction, whether or not the government mandates it. 

Ignis Doors UK: the best safety fire doors designed for maximum protection

Structurally essential and keeping your family and loved ones safe in the event of a blaze, fire doors are a lifesaver. They are used extensively worldwide, especially in settings that might be more prone to such occurrences. However, not all fire doors are created equal, and build quality and material quality are the two things that can make all the difference. We understand that difference, and at Ignis Doors, we make sure that each of our fire doors stands up to the oppressive flames to protect you and your loved ones, no matter how fierce the flames are. Because we provide security and fire safety more than anything else, you can trust an Ignis fire door to keep your family safe in such tragic moments. Invest in a quality fire door for the best results, and Ignis is the manufacturer you can always count on