When purchasing fire doors, it’s natural for companies to focus on the quality and specification of the door itself – without considering its frame. Fire doors comprise of two components – the door itself, and its frame – and together they form an effective barrier against flames and smoke. One doesn’t work well without the other – so matching a door with an equally efficient frame is a must.
Trust manufacturer recommendations
Ideally you should source the fire door and the frame from the same manufacturer or supplier. This is because often they are made to the same specification, designed to work together efficiently rather than be paired up with different components, which may result in reduced effectiveness.
Frames contribute to a fire door’s safety rating
Some property owners and landlords believe that purchasing a fire door alone is enough – installing it on an existing frame. The issue with this is that the frame is unlikely to be able to contribute anything to the overall efficiency of the fire door – weakening its ability to protect and repel flames and smoke. Fire door frames are crafted from different types of wood to ensure their ability to secure in the event of a fire. 60-minute fire doors are made from hardwood – this must have a specific density of 650kg per square metre. 30-minute fire doors can be made from softwood – with a minimum density of 450kg per square metre. The frame also needs to have a minimum thickness. Whatever the material used may be, the frame must match the density of the door itself. Certain woods are unsuitable – such as ash, which is prohibited due to its flammable nature. This means that your money could be largely wasted if you pair a certified fire door with a standard frame – and more importantly, the safety of your property is severely compromised.
Mind the gap
The width of the gap between the fire door itself and its frame is crucially important. As a general rule the gap must not exceed 3mm – and this can be problematic for property owners and landlords who choose to use existing frames for fire doors. It is also something that fire door testers or insurance officials will pick up on when they come to assess the quality and safety of the fire doors you have fitted. Appropriate seals must also be fitted between the door and frame – these again should be supplied and fitted by your manufacturer where possible.