Why, when and what do I need to know?
The selection of fire door hardware we have chosen to focus on is hinges, closers, panic bars and lastly the doors themselves, numerous products for just as many situations but all laid out to make it easy to browse and with help tips wherever possible, the amount of information offered could be deemed overwhelming but it really is easy to navigate, just take your time, make your notes and ask us any question about anything covered in this article or on this site.
The hardware must comply with various regulations, let's take hinges first, all our hinges that we offer for fire doors comply with and have a class 13 stamp, they vary in finish from stainless steel through electro brass, bronze and polished brass, we also offer a variation in the width of the hinge, this is particularly helpful when you need the door to open beyond the 90 degree angle.
We also offer class 13 hinges with a combined security pin to give added strength for more secure room or offices, another option is for hinges known as "parliament hinges" which allow the door to open to 180 degrees, these hinges have the "butterfly" appearance when fully open and when closed they have a fair amount of projection past the door face, this is so they allow the door to open past any fairly large architrave.
Door closers vary from those that are silver painted through various additional cover plates with stainless steel or brass amongst a total of six options, the closers can vary from those that have no control, they simply slam the door closed, through to those that have variable power and allow the speed of the closing door to be controlled.
Door closers in certain situations must allow for DDA (disability compliance) and must therefore allow the door to open beyond 90 degrees, they may also need to be fire compliant, some closers can be concealed in the top of the door or even within the floor, just be aware that there are weih=ght limitations for door closers and there are also door width limitations, we have a number of closers on this site that do all the things that you could possibly need and each product gives you their specifications without exception.
Panic Bars and Panic Latches;
Whats the difference???
A panic bar is a product that is fitted to an emergency escape door and has a horizontal bar for pushing against when trying to escape but it also has a vertical "rod" that goes into the lintel of the frame and at the same time a bottom rod goes into the floor or threshold, all operated simultaneously by hitting the bar.
A panic latch is either a latch with a pad attached or a horizontal bar as described in the panic bar explanation (above) but with a latch attached, the pad or the bar is hit by anyone trying to escape through a door in an emergency, there is the possibility of adding an external attachment that can be operated by a key to gain access from the exterior but which does not lock the latch, if it were to lock the latch in some way it would impact on the regulations governing the operation of these items if it did so.
All panic bars or latches must be fitted in such a way as to allow an easy emergency escape, they cannot ever be allowed to be "chained" or locked in any way whatsoever, there are many extra items such as coverings that glow in the dark or other attachments for virtually every type of door operations such as double doors etc.
The colours vary from silver painted through stainless steel , stainless brass etc
We have a very large and varied range of fire doors including panelled, flush or glazed and in finishes such as white primed, Oak, Walnut, Beech or at the bottom end of the price spectrum a simple plywood door, each door regardless of cost must comply with the UK's fire regulations in such a way as to permit extra time to escape a fire.
There are double doors and single doors, please be aware that a door may require intumescent fire and smoke seals, these are seals that have to be machined (routered) into the two long edges and top of a fire door, there is a distinction here between a fire door and a fire escape door, an external fire escape door may not even have to be fire rated as such.
Fire doors come in 30 minute, 60 minute and 120 minute fire ratings, the 30 minute doors are the most widely used doors and are offered in vast numbers on this site, to be honest there are only a handful of standard size 60 minute fire doors on our site with many others available as special orders............... at a price, the 120 minute fire doors will always be special orders and will not be at the lower end of the price scale.