When do I need to fit fire doors?

There are lots of different ideas about when and how to fit fire doors but the best two answers are below.

  • When providing a protected stairway in a dwellinghouse, do I need to fit fire-resisting doors on the cupboards and bathrooms?

A protected stairway should be enclosed with fire resisting construction and fire resisting doors in order to protect people escaping down the stairs from a fire in the accommodation.

It may not always be necessary to provide fire doors on cupboards if they are small and the fire risk is low. An alternative to providing a fire door on a bathroom is to include the bathroom within the stair enclosure, thus removing the need for a fire door.

  • With reference to the new guidance on loft conversions, when providing new fire-resisting doors in an existing dwellinghouse, is it also necessary to replace the existing internal door frames?

A fire-resisting door should be regarded as a complete installed assembly. Thus the door, the frame and any ironmongery should be considered when assessing its suitability. In most cases, however, it should be possible to retain the existing frame. If in doubt, the test report for the door being installed will include details of the door frame in which it was tested.

Fire doors are often thicker and much heavier than other internal doors. Where existing frames are retained it may be necessary to replace or relocate the door stops and to install additional fixings back to the structure. The joint between the frame and the surrounding structure should be adequately sealed and the operating gap between the door and the frame should be kept to a minimum (usually 3-4mm).

A huge selection of all types of fire doors can be found here.

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