The UK Construction Products Regulations means you need fire door fittings that are compliant with it, but do you know what that entails? Whilst essential for every building project, being compliant doesn’t mean your creativity has to be compromised. Architectural hardware specialists who design and manufacture their own products are fully trained and can help guide you through the various fire prevention methods.
What Is Fire Safety?
Fire safety is where any business has a moral and legal obligation to ensure everyone inside the premises is safe from fire risks. This means that not only are there fire prevention methods in place, but also the right fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and appropriate hardware. In summary, fire prevention methods include fire safety doors, emergency lighting, smoke alarms, sprinklers, access control, and more.
How you adhere to fire safety laws without compromising on your designs requires experts know-how. Limit your risk and engage architectural ironmongers with recognised qualifications such as Registered Architectural Ironmonger (RegAI) or the Diploma in Fire Doors (DipFD). They have a deep understanding of the importance of building hardware being up to standards and can guide you through the process.
A “Fire door leaf” refers to the door itself. On any unglazed areas of these doors, you’re allowed to decorate it however you wish. Over-painting up to a maximum of 5 coats to minimise the risk of the seal becoming ineffective is highly recommended. And if you’re planning on redecorating a door, avoid using heat or chemical strippers as your fire door leaf uses intumescent seals which can get damaged.
Door controls must be installed in your building to ensure corridors and escape routes remain accessible when there are fire and smoke. Without them, people may get trapped and can succumb to either the fire or smoke inhalation. You can work with a professional architectural hardware expert to fit your buildings with door controls that are not only functional but also beautiful and sleek by design. Many of these also have electromagnetic hold-open features which means they are always held open but will automatically close in case of an emergency upon activation of the fire alarm.
Hinges may be a small element when considering design, but they’re extremely important. Currently, the European standard for Building Hardware Single Axis Hinges is the BS EN 1935: 2002. These can remain attached even if the surrounding wood becomes charred.
On fire doors up to 2100mm high and 1000mm wide, it’s recommended that you use three tested and certified hinges. For doors exceeding these sizes and even special thicknesses, either an additional or more specialised hinge may be required, your architectural ironmonger will be able to guide you accordingly.
Fire Door Safety without Compromise
With so many moving parts it’s easy to overlook the smaller details concerning the role of fire door safety in your design. By understanding the correct specifications, you can better design your building so you don’t have to compromise on your overall vision further down the line. You may have a few more obstacles to get through, but in the end, you can still create a cohesive look with no compromise on the design.