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How To Identify A Fire Door

How To Identify A Fire Door

A fire-resistant door or a fire-rated door is designed specifically to slow down and reduce the spread of smoke or fire to allow safe egress in the event of a fire. Fire doors are usually made up of a combination of glass, steel, timber, gypsum, and aluminum.

These doors offer a fire-resistance rating starting from 30 minutes to 2 hours, providing ample time to escape from the affected area.

Fire doors are a legal requirement for certain buildings, including commercial properties and flats, with the sole purpose of halting the destruction caused due to fire. These doors are tested from both sides to determine the stability and integrity of the door during ablaze.

What Makes A Fire Door Different From A Regular Door?

What Makes A Fire Door Different From A Regular Door? .webp


Unlike regular doors, fire doors are tested and rated according to their duration and capacity to last longer during a fire. Whether a fire door is open or in a closed position, it's still fulfilling its purpose. When closed, it prevents the spread of fire, and when open, it allows you to escape.

You won't find wedges attached to a fire door, as found in regular doors. Wedges are attached to keep the door open for a longer period. As fire doors are required to close within seconds, wedges are not seen anywhere near them.

How To Identify A Fire Door

Gone are the days when you had to select between the safety and style of a door. Today's fire doors meet the safety requirements without compromising the style and overall look of the door.

Knowing how to identify a fire door might contribute to saving your life. Fortunately, identifying a fire door is not as difficult as it seems. The majority of the fire doors come with visible signs indicating whether the door is a fire door or a regular door. 

In the event of a fire, identifying a fire door nearby and knowing that you still have the chance to escape can deliver peace of mind.


Fire Door Certification


The most authentic way to identify a fire door is to check its certification label. All fire doors are required to have a certification label as it acts as proof of whether the doors are tested enough to determine their fire resistance level. These labels are usually found on the top edge of the door leaf. The validation of a certified fire door is to be done by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF).

This label also states the fire-resistance rating of the door. For instance, FD30 means 30 minutes of fire resistance; FD60 means 60 minutes of fire resistance, etc. Not just the door, even the door frame is required to have a label marking on it. Though this is not mandatory, it is still highly recommended.


Door Gap


The gap between a fire door and its door frame will neither be less than 2mm nor will it exceed 4mm. Usually, a gap of 3mm is considered an ideal gap in the case of fire doors. To check the gap between the door and the door frame, you can insert a £1 coin, which is about 3mm thick.  

Also, the door frames will be seen firmly attached to the wall and free from any damage. Ideally, the light should not be seen from under the door.

Intumescent Seal

Intumescent Seal


A fire door is seen fitted with an approved intumescent strip seal which swells in heat to seal the gaps between the fire door and its door frame. These seals are critical to prevent the spread of smoke and fire. 

The intumescent seals can be either fitted into the door frame or grooved into the edge of the door. You can open the door and check for a thin strip either on the door or the door frame.

Closing Mechanism

Closing Mechanism


A fire door always has a self-closing mechanism as it shuts automatically behind people evacuating to contain the fire and smoke. This also limits the oxygen from entering the affected premises, as oxygen feeds a fire. A fire door will always have a closing mechanism at the top of the door to close the door.

To check the closing mechanism in a fire door, open the door halfway and then let go of the door and see if it gets closed by itself. You can also check the closing mechanism at the top of the door to be double sure.


Door Hinge

A fire door contains at least three hinges, and if there are less than three hinges on any door, it is not an effective fire door. The fire regulations require fire doors to be fitted with three hinges (4-inch certified hinges).

For fire doors over 2200mm tall, four hinges are used to prevent warping. If the hinges are not fitted firmly, or if the fire door is poorly maintained, it is likely to fall in the event of a fire.


Fire Door Keep Closed - Sign


 Signages are the visible signs seen on a fire door that indicates the presence of a fire door. This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to identify a fire door. The visible presence of signages on fire doors at office buildings is mandatory.

These signages are usually "FIRE DOORS", "EMERGENCY EXIT", or "FIRE DOOR, KEEP CLOSED". If you happen to see such signs anywhere near a door, it indicates a fire door. Signages are usually seen in red, green, or blue colour with a combination of white.


All fire doors must have the appropriate proof of performance for the ratings they carry. Now that you know how to differentiate a fire door from regular doors, these doors must be kept up to date. You can always opt for custom fire doors, that suit your needs.

In some places, these fire doors are used daily, and this constant usage can lead them to deteriorate faster. If the door doesn't close properly, it won't perform in the event of a fire. Therefore, it is necessary to check the active doors every three to six months.

Whether you are looking for internal doors or external doors for your home, Emerald Doors is a one-stop solution for all your door needs.

Fire Door FAQS

Can A Regular Door Be Converted Into A Fire Door?

Though it is possible to convert a regular door into a fire door, it is highly advisable not to do so. This is because a regular door is usually lightweight and has a hollow core, and hence an upgrade could lead to severe warping of the door.

Do Fire Doors Require A Special Frame?

Fitting and installing a new fire door into an existing door frame is risky as the ordinary door frame is not designed to support the features of a fire door. A fire door leaf fitted in an unsuitable door frame may not provide any fire separation performance at all. 

Also, if the door frame is incompatible with the door, the certification of the fire door becomes invalid.

Can Fire Doors Be Painted?

Fire doors can be painted with regular paint. Timber fire doors can be painted with either paint or varnish. It is advised not to paint them excessively, so be cautious of the number of coats painted already.

Who Can Fit Fire Doors?

Always ensure that you get a fire door fitted by a professional who has received relevant training. Irrespective of the fire door rating, if it fits poorly, it may not withstand fire for more than five minutes. Fire doors come with certain specifications that are difficult to meet if not fitted by someone relevantly experienced.

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Author: Shabana kauser

Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.