Common Fire Door Issues

Poor Installation

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One of the most common fire door issues that we identify when inspecting a fire door is poor installation. Having fire door sets installed by un-qualified personnel is an unfortunate and common trend throughout the industry. At Burke Fire Doors our staff are fully qualified and trained under a BM Trada Q-Mark for Fire Door Installation.

Common problems associated with poor installation can include: doors being off plumb, doors catching the threshold and/or hitting the intumescent strip, ironmongery installed incorrectly and doors being hinge bound therefore not latching properly



Incorrect Margins

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A defect that is quite common throughout most fire door installations is incorrect margins where the door is hanging in the frame. The required gap in most instances (depending on the manufacturer’s certification) should be between 2 to 4mm, while at the threshold a fire smoke door should be no more than 3mm.

In a fire situation a timber door shrinks and distorts towards the fire. This reflection is mitigated by the engagement of the intumescent seals in the door frame which seal the door in place. If the margins around the doors are too excessive or indeed too little the fire door will fail



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Glazing forms an integral part of a fire door assembly. Incorrectly specified glass can fail very rapidly. Only tested proprietary glazing systems can be used in a fire door, with the appropriate glazing bead, intumescent and fixings. Fanlights and sidelights must also be considered as part of the complete assembly.

It must also be noted that clear fire rated glass must be identified with an etched or sandblasted decal on each pane. This will identify the type of glass and associated fire rating.

lazing2 (1)

Incorrectly Installed Ironmongery

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Ironmongery forms an essential part of the overall fire door assembly. If installed incorrectly a common fire door issue will arise in the door set. It must also be noted that all ironmongery must be fit for purpose and carry its own fire certification and/or be referenced in the fire door manufacturer’s certification.



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Every fire door and frame set must have a continuous run of intumescent in either the door frame or around the door itself. Any gaps in the intumescent through damage or not being applied properly will result in failure of the fire door set.



Frequently Asked Questions

    Common fire door issues include:

  • Improper installation.
  • Damaged or missing seals.
  • Gaps between the door and frame.
  • Damaged or malfunctioning hardware.
  • Failure to meet regulatory requirements.

 Look for signs such as visible damage to the door or frame, gaps between the door and frame, difficulty opening or closing the door, missing or damaged seals, or if the door fails to latch properly when closed.

Fire doors are critical in containing fire and smoke and protecting lives and property. Ignoring issues could compromise their effectiveness during a fire, leading to increased risks of injury, loss of life, and property damage.

Depending on the severity and nature of the issue, some fire door issues can be repaired by trained professionals. However, replacement may be necessary in cases of significant damage or failure to meet safety standards.

Fire doors should be inspected regularly according to local regulations and industry standards. Typically, they should undergo annual inspections by qualified professionals, with more frequent checks recommended for high-traffic areas or environments prone to wear and tear.

Regular maintenance is crucial. It includes checking seals for damage, ensuring proper operation of hardware such as hinges and latches, keeping the door and surrounding area clear of obstructions, and addressing any issues promptly.

Yes, various building codes, regulations, and industry standards outline requirements for installing, inspecting, and maintaining fire doors. Compliance with these standards is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of fire doors in an emergency.

Contact a qualified fire door inspector or technician trained and certified to assess fire door issues. They can provide expert guidance on inspection, maintenance, repair, or replacement as needed to ensure the safety and compliance of your fire doors.