The Oxford Fire Door Company


Welcome to The Oxford Fire Door Companies Frequently Ask Questions page where you will find guidance many of the questions we have been asked over the years in regards to Fire Doors, Fire Safety to Styles and Species of wood.

For anything else contact [email protected] or call 01993 851986

What is a fire door
A fire door is a specially designed door that is constructed to resist the spread of fire and smoke within a building. These doors are an essential component of fire protection systems and play a critical role in minimising the spread of fire, protecting lives, and providing safe evacuation routes.

Here are some key features and characteristics of fire doors:

  1. Fire Resistance: Fire doors are made from fire-rated materials such as metal, wood, or glass. They are designed to withstand exposure to high temperatures and flames for a specified time, known as the fire rating. Common fire ratings include 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes.
  2. Intumescent Seals: Fire doors typically have intumescent seals around the edges, which expand when exposed to heat, creating a barrier that prevents the passage of smoke and flames.
  3. Self-Closing Mechanisms: Fire doors are equipped with self-closing devices such as overhead closers or spring hinges. This ensures that the door automatically closes and latches when not in use to maintain the fire compartmentalisation.
  4. Fire Hardware: Fire doors require specific hardware components, including fire-rated hinges, locks, and latches, which are designed to withstand the effects of heat and fire.
  5. Signage and Identification: Fire doors often have specific signage to be easily identifiable. This includes “Fire Door” labels or signs to ensure that people can identify them even during emergencies.

Fire doors are strategically placed within buildings to compartmentalise spaces and prevent the rapid spread of fire and smoke. They are commonly found in commercial buildings, public areas, schools, hospitals, apartment complexes, and residential homes where fire safety is a concern.

It is vital to maintain and inspect fire doors regularly to ensure their ongoing effectiveness. Regular maintenance includes checking for any damage, ensuring the integrity of seals and hardware, and replacing any compromised components to ensure optimal fire protection.

What is an internal fire door
  1. An internal fire door is a type of door that is designed to resist the spread of fire within a building.
  2. These doors are constructed with fire-resistant materials, such as solid wood, metal, or a combination of both.
  3. They are installed in fire-rated walls and act as a barrier to prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another to assist form a compartmented area of protection.
  4. Internal fire doors are typically equipped with fire-rated hardware, including self-closing mechanisms and intumescent strips, drop down seal, which expand when exposed to heat to create a tight seal.
  5. These doors are an essential component of fire safety measures in buildings, providing occupants with a means of escape and allowing time for evacuation during a fire incident.
  6. Internal fire doors are often found in areas where fire separation is essential, such as stairwells, corridors, and rooms that contain potentially flammable materials or equipment.
What is an external fire door
  1. An external fire door is a specially designed door that provides fire protection and is installed in external walls of a building.
  2. These doors are made of fire-resistant materials such as steel, metal, or hardwood timber with fire-resistant glazing or reinforcement and durability against weather.
  3. They are equipped with fire-resistant seals and smoke seals, which prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another.
  4. The purpose of an external fire door is to act as a barrier against fire, helping to protect escape routes and prevent the spread of fire to adjacent buildings or areas.
Do I need a fire door? Some general guidelines to consider
  1. Building Regulations: If you are constructing a new building or making significant repairs or modifications to an existing one, you should check building regulations. These regulations specify the circumstances under which fire doors are compulsory. This varies based on government regulations.
  2. Function of your Building: Fire doors are particularly important in buildings, which are open to the public, such as schools, hotels, hospitals, commercial premises, and even your home. They protect occupants from the spread of fire and smoke, providing an essential barrier between different parts of the building.
  3. Still, some buildings, including residential properties, may not need fire doors, depending on their layout and the function of each room.
  4. Fire Risk Assessment: A fire risk assessment should be carried out by a trained professional to evaluate the potential fire hazards in your building. The assessment considers factors such as the building structure, occupancy, and potential ignition sources, among others. You may also require a Fire Door Survey and Compartmentation Survey.
  5. In summary, you may need a fire door if your building has a high risk of fire or you are constructing or making significant modifications to an existing building. However, the need for a fire door will depend on your local building regulations and risk assessment. It is essential to seek professional advice for more specific recommendations concerning your property.
I need to replace internal door with fire doors
  1. Building Regulations: Check with your local building control department or relevant authority to confirm any specific requirements, permits, or permissions you need to follow while replacing internal doors with fire doors.
  2. Fire Rating Requirements: Understand the fire rating requirements for your property. Likely FD30 / FD60 or FD30s / Fd60s. Fire rating indicates how long a fire door can resist the spread of fire and smoke. Some areas require specific fire ratings for internal fire-rated doors, depending on the building type, size, and function.
  3. Installation Standards: Ensure that the fire doors you intend to install meet the necessary installation standards and have been tested in line with relevant regulations. Incorrect installation can compromise their effectiveness.
  4. Professional Installation: Fire doors should be installed by a trained professional. Installation requires specific skill sets, equipment, and tools to ensure proper fitting, alignment, and essential components such as closers, intumescent strips, and hinges are installed adequately.
  5. Maintenance: Fire doors require regular maintenance, including checking and replacing hardware components such as hinges, locking mechanisms, and seals throughout their service life and checking for poor gaps. This helps to ensure that the door continues to perform correctly during a fire.
  6. In summary, replacing internal doors with fire doors is possible, but it is essential to follow specific regulations relating to building codes, fire rating requirements, installation standards, and maintenance. Working with a professional is critical to ensure the fire doors are installed correctly and meet the required safety standards.
How do I measure a fire door/leaf only
  1. When measuring a fire door/leaf only, follow these steps:Measure the width: Measure the width of the door at three points – the top, middle, and bottom. Take the smallest measurements of the three to ensure that the new fire door fits into the existing opening.
  2. Measure the height: Measure the height of the door from the top to the bottom of the door. Again, measure the height at three points – on the left, right, and center, and take the smallest measurement.
  3. Measure the thickness: Fire doors are typically thicker than other doors due to their fire-resistant construction. Measure the thickness of the door by measuring the width of the door from one side to the other.

It is essential to measure the door opening accurately to ensure that you purchase a fire door with the correct measurements. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  1. Measure the door opening before purchasing the fire door to ensure that you buy the correct size.
  2. Choose a fire door with the appropriate fire rating required for your building or area.
  3. Consult with a professional if you are unsure about the correct measurements or the fire rating requirements.

Ensure that the fire door purchased meets relevant regulations, standards, and codes.

Overall, by accurately measuring the width, height, and thickness of the existing door you can ensure that the new fire door fits well and offers optimal fire protection when required.

However, to be fully compliant we recommend a complete door set and this requires measuring the ‘Structural Opening’ (S/O) which will incorporate the frame.

How do I measure the ‘Structural Opening’: (This is the full opening space for a door set to fit within)

To measure a structural opening for a fire door set, follow these steps:

1. Make sure you are measuring the frame/ lining, sometimes called casements, using SO widths, height and depth of lining is far better in ensuring fit is correct.


2.Measure the width:

    • Measure the width between the outer edges of the door frame at the top, middle, and bottom of the opening.
    • Take the smallest measurement as the width of the structural opening.

3. Measure the height:

    • Measure the height from the top of the door frame to the floor at the left, right, and center of the opening.
    • Take the smallest measurement as the height of the structural opening.

4. Measure the depth:

    • Measure the depth of the door frame / lining / casement from the inside of the wall to the face of the opposite side of the frame.
    • This measurement is crucial for ensuring that the fire door set fits properly into the structural opening.

5. Check for obstructions:

    • Inspect the structural opening for any obstructions that may affect the installation of the fire door set, such as electrical conduits, pipes, or any protruding objects.
    • These obstacles may require adjustments or modifications to the frame or the fire door set.

6. Consider the clear opening width:

    • When measuring the width, account for the clear opening required by building regulations or standards. This typically requires deducting a certain amount from the structural opening width to accommodate the necessary clearance.

7. Allow for firestopping around the outside of the frame and wall gap

It is crucial to consult with professionals or refer to relevant building regulations and standards to ensure accurate measurements and adherence to safety requirements. Fire door sets must be properly sized and installed to ensure their effectiveness in preventing the spread of fire and smoke.

What is a doorset

A pre-hung door set refers to a complete door package that includes a door leaf, frame, and hinges, already preassembled, making it easy to install. The term “pre-hung” means that the door is already installed in the frame, and the hinges are attached as well.

This differs from traditional door installation where the door, hinges, and frame are separate components that need to be installed individually. With a pre-hung door set, the door and frame are pre-matched and come pre-drilled for the hinges and lock hardware, making installation quicker and more straightforward.

Pre-hung door sets are commonly used in construction projects, especially for interior doors, as they save time and labor. They also provide a better seal as the door leaf and frame are pre-matched to each other, ensuring a more accurate fit and better insulation.

Pre-hung door sets are available in various styles, materials, and sizes to fit different applications and design preferences. They are typically used for interior doors, but they can also be used for exterior doors that require enhanced insulation and security.

What are intumescent strips

Intumescent strips are specialized sealing devices that are primarily used in fire doors or frames. These strips are designed to expand when exposed to high temperatures, typically around 200-300 degrees Celsius.

When a fire occurs, the intumescent strip expands due to the heat, creating an insulating barrier that seals any gaps between the door and its frame. This expansion effectively blocks the passage of fire, smoke, and hot gases, preventing their spread to other areas of the building.

Intumescent strips are an essential component of fire-rated doors as they significantly enhance their fire resistance capabilities. They help to maintain the integrity of the door assembly by ensuring that it remains sealed during a fire, thus providing valuable time for occupants to evacuate and for firefighters to contain the blaze.

 In addition to fire doors, intumescent strips may also be used in fire-rated windows, ventilation openings, and other areas that require fire protection. They are typically made of materials such as graphite, sodium silicate, or expanding foam, which have excellent insulating properties and can withstand high temperatures.

Do I need fire rated intumescent pads behind fire door hinges

To meet the British standard for fire doors, fire rated intumescent pads are needed behind fire door hinges. These pads expand when exposed to heat during a fire, creating a seal that helps prevent the spread of smoke and fire through the gaps around the hinges. This is an important safety measure to ensure the proper functioning of fire doors and to protect occupants in the event of a fire.

What is a rebated fire door
  1. A rebated fire door is a type of fire door that has a step or splayed edge, allowing it to fit into a door frame and provide a tight seal when closed. 
  2. This seal helps to restrict the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire, as well as provide additional protection to occupants and property. 
  3. Rebated fire doors are typically made from fire-resistant materials and are designed to withstand extreme temperatures for a certain period of time, usually measured in minutes (e.g., 30-minute, 60-minute, or 90-minute fire doors). 
  4. They are commonly used in commercial and residential buildings as a safety measure to comply with fire regulations and to ensure the safety of occupants.
What is a rebated double fire door
  1. A rebated double fire door, also known as a double rebate fire door, is a type of fire-resistant door designed to prevent the spread of fire between different areas of a building. 
  2. It consists of two individual door leaves that are installed side-by-side, providing a wider opening when both doors are opened. 
  3. The term “rebated” refers to the overlapping edges of the door leaves, which form a tight seal when closed to prevent the passage of flames, smoke, and heat. 
  4. These doors typically have fireproof seals, intumescent strips, and other fire-resistant materials to ensure their effectiveness in containing fire. 
  5. Rebated double fire doors are commonly installed in commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and public spaces to provide an extra layer of protection in the event of a fire.
Should a fire door only open in the flow of traffic
  1. Yes, a fire door should typically open in the flow of traffic for safety reasons. 
  2. This allows for easy and quick evacuation during an emergency. 
  3. Fire doors are designed to restrict the spread of fire and smoke and opening them in the flow of traffic ensures that people can easily move away from the danger zone. 
  4. Opening the fire door against the flow of traffic may cause congestion and hinder evacuation efforts.
Can a fire door be painted
Yes, fire doors can be painted, but it is crucial to follow proper procedures and use fire-resistant paint that is specifically made for such doors. Painting a fire door incorrectly can compromise its fire resistance properties and negate its effectiveness in protecting against the spread of fire. It is recommended to consult with a professional to ensure that the painting process is done correctly and does not compromise the fire door’s integrity.
Should a fire door have fire rated ironmongery

Yes, a fire door should have fire-rated ironmongery. Fire-rated ironmongery refers to door hardware (such as hinges, locks, and closing devices) that is specifically designed and tested to withstand fire and prevent the spread of flames and smoke. Using fire-rated ironmongery ensures that the door remains compliant with fire safety regulations and can effectively contribute to containing a fire.

When should a fire door be maintained
A fire door can be maintained on a regular basis to ensure its proper functioning. Some instances when maintenance may be carried out include:

  1. Periodically: Fire doors should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis, typically once or twice a year, depending on the local fire and building codes.
  2. After Installation: After a fire door is installed, it is important to conduct maintenance and inspection to ensure it meets all safety requirements and functions properly.
  3. Annually: Annual inspections should be conducted to examine the fire door’s components, such as the frame, hinges, seals, and closing mechanisms, for any signs of damage or wear.
  4. After any incident: If a fire or any significant incident occurs that involves the fire door, it should be inspected and maintained as soon as possible to address any potential damage or issues caused by the event.
  5. When damaged or worn: If a fire door is damaged, such as cracked glass, broken hinges, or damaged seals, it should be repaired or replaced to ensure its effectiveness in the event of a fire.

Overall, fire doors should be properly maintained to ensure their functionality and compliance with fire safety standards. Regular inspections and maintenance are crucial to address any issues promptly and keep the fire doors in optimal condition.

When should you replace a fire door

You should consider replacing a fire door in the following circumstances:

  1. Damage: If the fire door is damaged or has signs of wear, such as cracks, holes, or warping, it may no longer function effectively in containing fire.
  2. Incorrect installation: If the fire door was not originally installed properly or has been modified in a way that compromises its integrity, it should be replaced.
  3. Age: Fire doors have a limited lifespan, typically around 10-15 years. If a fire door is older than this recommended lifespan, it may be less effective in case of a fire and should be replaced.
  4. Changes in building codes: If there have been revisions to fire safety codes or regulations in your area since the installation of the fire door, it may no longer meet the current requirements and should be replaced to ensure compliance.
  5. Inadequate inspection or maintenance: If the fire door has not been regularly inspected, maintained, or tested, it may not be functioning correctly and should be replaced.
  6. It’s essential to consult with a certified professional or fire safety expert who can assess the specific condition of your fire door and recommend the appropriate course of action.
The difference between FD30 and FD60 fire rating

The difference between FD30 and FD60 fire ratings is in the amount of time each door can withstand a fire. 

FD30 doors have a fire rating of 30 minutes, meaning they can resist the spread of fire for this duration. These doors are commonly used in internal applications such as entrances to individual apartments within a building or in corridor doors. 

On the other hand, FD60 doors have a fire rating of 60 minutes, offering additional fire resistance compared to FD30 doors. These doors are usually employed in areas where higher levels of fire protection are required, such as in stairwell doors, entrance doors to flats or offices, and in commercial buildings.

It is important to note that both FD30 and FD60 doors must be properly installed with fire-resistant components, including fire-rated frames, hinges, and seals, for them to effectively perform their designated fire rating.

Can smoke get through a fire door

Smoke can potentially get through a fire door, but fire doors are designed to limit the passage of both smoke and fire. Fire doors are made of fire-resistant materials and are equipped with seals or gaskets around the edges to minimize the spread of smoke. However, the effectiveness of a fire door in preventing smoke passage depends on factors such as the quality of the door, installation, and maintenance. In case of a fire, it is important to remember that fire doors can provide some protection but are not a fail-proof barrier against smoke and fire.

Should I use fire stopping material around my fire rated door set

Yes, it is recommended to use fire stopping material around a fire-rated door set to ensure that the fire resistance of the door assembly is properly maintained. Fire stopping materials, such as fire-rated sealants or intumescent materials, can help prevent the spread of fire and smoke through any gaps or cracks around the door set. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and local building codes when selecting and installing fire stopping materials.

What is fire rated glazing
Aesthetic appeal: Fire-rated glass can be transparent or opaque, and it can be customized to match the aesthetic requirements of the building design. This allows for natural light to pass through and maintains the visual connection between different areas of the building.

Fire-rated glass is manufactured using various methods, depending on the required level of fire resistance. Common types include:

  1. Wired glass: This type of fire-rated glass has a wire mesh embedded within it. The wire mesh helps to hold the glass together when exposed to high temperatures, preventing it from shattering and allowing it to maintain its integrity during a fire.
  2. Ceramic or glass-ceramic glass: These types of fire-rated glass are made by adding different ceramic materials to the glass during the manufacturing process. The ceramics transform the glass into a material that can withstand high temperatures and provide fire resistance.
  3. Fire-resistant laminated glass: This type of fire-rated glass consists of multiple layers of glass that are bonded together with an interlayer of fire-resistant material, such as intumescent material. The interlayer reacts to heat and expands, creating a barrier against fire and smoke.

Fire-rated glass is classified based on its fire resistance rating, which indicates the amount of time it can withstand exposure to fire. Common fire resistance ratings include 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. The higher the fire resistance rating, the longer the glass can withstand fire and heat.

Fire-rated glass is commonly used in building design to provide fire protection while still allowing for the passage of light and visibility. It is often used in fire-rated doors, windows, partitions, and glazed walls. In the event of a fire, fire-rated glass helps to compartmentalize the building and prevent the spread of fire, providing occupants with crucial time to safely evacuate the building.

It is important to note that fire-rated glass is not fireproof, meaning it will eventually succumb to the effects of fire. However, its purpose is to delay or limit the spread of fire and smoke, providing a vital layer of protection in buildings.

Why use Tulip wood

Tulip wood is a popular choice for fire door sets for several reasons:

  1. Fire resistance: Tulip wood has a high level of fire resistance, making it a suitable material for fire door sets. It has a low rate of heat transfer, which means it can withstand high temperatures for a longer period without catching fire or losing its structural integrity.
  2. Durability: Tulip wood is known for its strength and durability. It has a tight grain structure and is less prone to warping and splitting, making it an ideal choice for fire door sets that need to withstand regular use and potential exposure to fire.
  3. Aesthetics: Tulip wood has a beautiful appearance, with a pale yellow to light brown colour and a smooth, even texture. It can be easily painted or stained to match the surrounding décor, offering a visually appealing option that complements the overall design of a building.
  4. Availability: Tulip wood is widely available, making it a convenient choice for fire door sets. It can be sourced sustainably, as it is typically harvested from responsibly managed forests.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: Compared to some other fire-resistant door materials, tulip wood can be a more cost-effective option. It provides a good balance between quality, durability, and price, making it an ideal choice for fire door sets without compromising on performance.
  6. The density of tulipwood (Liriodendron tulipifera) can range from 32 to 39 pounds per cubic foot (513 to 625 kilograms per cubic meter).

It’s important to note that when choosing fire door sets, compliance with fire safety regulations and standards should be the top priority. Tulip wood or any other material used for fire door sets should meet the necessary fire resistance ratings and testing requirements to ensure the safety of occupants and property. Consulting with fire safety professionals or experts is recommended to ensure the appropriate material selection for fire door sets.

Types of wood used to make fire doors

Not a complete list but, there are several types of wood that are commonly used to make fire doors. These include:

  1. Douglas Fir: This type of wood is known for its durability and strength, making it a popular choice for fire doors. It is also resistant to moisture, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. 
  2. Oak: Oak is a hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. It is resistant to fire and can withstand high temperatures, which makes it a popular choice for fire doors.
  3. Ash: Ash wood is known for its excellent fire resistance properties, as well as its strength and durability. It is also resistant to warping and bending, making it suitable for fire doors.
  4. Maple: Maple wood is known for its high density and durability. It is also resistant to fire, making it a popular choice for fire doors.
  5. Birch: Birch wood is known for its strength and resistance to fire. It is also resistant to warping and bending, making it suitable for fire doors.
  6. Mahogany: Mahogany is a hardwood that is known for its strength, durability, and resistance to fire. It is also resistant to moisture, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
  7. Density of woods are important in determining suitability and both softwood or hardwood have a minimum 510kg/m3 at 30 minutes to meet.

These are just a few examples of the types of wood that are commonly used to make fire doors. It is important to note that fire doors also have other components, such as intumescent seals and fire-rated glass, to enhance fire resistance. Additionally, fire doors must meet specific fire safety standards and regulations, so it is crucial to consult with a professional or refer to local building codes when selecting and installing fire doors.

What are MDF insert panels
  1. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) insert panels are pre-cut panels made from composite wood fibres that are denser than standard particle board. 
  2. They are commonly used as decorative interior panels in cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and other furniture applications. 
  3. MDF insert panels are designed to fit into a frame or groove made of solid wood or other material to create a flush and seamless appearance. 
  4. They can be painted or stained to match the overall design of the furniture piece. 
  5. MDF insert panels are known for their durability, smooth surface, and ability to resist warping or splitting.
Why use a solid core fire door

 Solid core fire doors are used for several reasons:

  1. Fire Resistance: Solid core fire doors are specifically designed to withstand fire and prevent its spread. They are made with a solid internal core that acts as a barrier against flames, heat, and smoke. This helps confine a fire to a specific area and allows occupants to safely evacuate.
  2. Safety Compliance: Fire codes and regulations often require the use of fire doors in certain areas of a building, such as stairwells, corridors, and fire exits. Solid core fire doors meet the necessary safety standards and help ensure compliance with local building codes.
  3. Protection of Property: Fire doors not only protect people but also help protect property. By slowing down the spread of fire, solid core fire doors can minimize damage to the building and its contents, potentially saving valuable assets.
  4. Enhanced Security: Solid core fire doors usually have a higher level of security compared to regular doors. They are built with durable materials and reinforced frames, making them more resistant to forced entry and break-ins.
  5. Noise Reduction: Solid core fire doors can provide better sound insulation compared to regular doors due to their thick construction. This can be beneficial in settings where noise control is important, such as hospitals, schools, or offices.

The use of solid core fire doors is essential for fire safety and compliance with building codes. They provide a reliable barrier against fire, protect property, enhance security, and offer noise reduction benefits.


What joinery methods are used to make a fire door

There are several joinery methods commonly used to make a fire door:

  1. Mortise and tenon joint: This is a traditional joinery method where a hole (mortise) is cut into one piece of wood and a corresponding projection (tenon) is formed on the other piece. The tenon fits into the mortise, creating a strong and secure joint. Mortise and tenon joints are often used to join the stiles and rails of a fire door. (We almost exclusively use this method).
  2. Dowel joint: This joinery method involves drilling holes into two pieces of wood and inserting dowels into the holes to join the pieces together. Dowels provide a strong mechanical joining method and are often used in addition to adhesive or other fasteners to reinforce the joint.
  3. Dovetail joint: Dovetails are interlocking joints that are commonly used in cabinet making and fine woodworking. They have a unique triangular shape that provides excellent strength and resistance to pulling apart. Dovetails can be used to join the corners of fire door frames.
  4. Finger joint: Finger joints consist of interlocking rectangular projections that resemble interlocking fingers. They are made by cutting corresponding rectangular notches into two pieces of wood and then joining them together. Finger joints are often used to join smaller sections of wood together in fire doors, such as the core components or panels.
  5. Biscuit joint: A biscuit joint involves using an oval-shaped wooden biscuit that fits into corresponding slots or grooves cut into the joining pieces of wood. These slots are typically created with a biscuit joiner or router. Biscuit joints provide added strength and alignment for joining fire door components.
  6. Tongue and groove joint: This joint involves creating a groove in one piece of wood and a corresponding tongue on the other piece that fits into the groove. Tongue and groove joints are often used in fire doors to join the individual planks or boards together to form panels or the door itself.

It’s important to note that the specific joinery methods used in fire door construction can vary depending on the manufacturer, design, and regulations specific to the country or region.

Average life span of a well-maintained solid wood fire door

The average life of a well-maintained solid wood fire door can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the door, the type of wood used, the usage and environment it is subjected to, and the level of maintenance it receives. 

In general, a well-maintained solid wood fire door can last anywhere between 25 to 50 years or even longer. However, this estimate can change if the door is exposed to excessive moisture, extreme temperature fluctuations, or if it is subject to frequent heavy use.

To ensure the longevity of a solid wood fire door, regular maintenance is crucial. This may include inspecting and repairing any cracks or damages, treating the wood with protective finishes, and keeping it clean and dry. Regular inspections, lubrication of hinges and other moving parts, and periodic resealing can also extend the life of the door.

It is important to note that fire doors should also comply with relevant safety regulations, such as fire resistance ratings and regular re-certification as required by local building codes. Failure to meet these requirements may require replacement of the door before its anticipated lifespan.

What is a door cill/threshold

A door cill, also known as a door threshold, is the horizontal component at the bottom of a door frame. It is typically made of wood, metal, or stone and serves as a transition between two different floor surfaces, such as inside and outside a building or between two rooms with different floor levels. The door cill helps prevent drafts, water, and debris from entering a building and provides a smooth transition for walking or wheeled traffic.

What is a door weather bar

A door weather bar is a strip or bar that is attached to the bottom of a door to provide protection from the weather. It is typically made of a durable and weather-resistant material, such as rubber or metal, and is designed to create a seal between the door and the ground. This helps to prevent drafts, rain, dust, and insects from entering the interior of a building through the gap at the bottom of the door. Door weather bars are commonly used in residential and commercial properties to improve energy efficiency and maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

What is a door frame

A door frame is the structural framework around a door that supports and holds it in place. It typically consists of two vertical side jambs, a horizontal top jamb or head, and a horizontal sill at the bottom. The door is usually attached to the frame using hinges, and a latch or lock mechanism is installed on the frame to secure the door when closed. Door frames are typically made of wood, metal, or composite materials and are essential components of a properly functioning door system.

Recommended gaps between a single fire door and frame:

The recommended gap between a single fire door and frame should be approximately 3-4mm on all sides, including the top. This allows for proper operation of the door without compromising fire safety standards. It is important to follow manufacturer guidelines and regulations when installing fire doors to ensure proper functionality in case of a fire as some variance does occur specific to manufacturer.

Recommended gaps between a double fire door and frame

UK building regulations (Approved Document B – Fire safety, Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellinghouses), the maximum gaps permissible between a double fire door and its frame are:

  1. The vertical gap along the full height of the door leaf should be no more than 4mm.
  2. The horizontal gap between the meeting stiles (where the two door leaves meet) should be no more than 8mm.
  3. The horizontal gap between the leading edge of the door leaf and the frame should be no more than 3mm.

These maximum permissible gaps are intended to prevent the spread of smoke, heat, and flames during a fire, ensuring the doors can effectively act as a barrier.

Minimum depth of a fire rated frame

The minimum depth of a fire-rated frame in accordance with BS (British Standard) depends on the required fire resistance rating of the frame. Fire resistance ratings are given in terms of time, such as 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. The deeper the frame, the better its ability to resist the spread of fire and provide protection.

As a general guideline, fire-rated frames in accordance with BS should have a minimum depth of 120mm for a 30-minute fire resistance rating. However, this depth may vary depending on factors such as the frame material, construction type, and certification requirements. Ours is a minimum of 70 mm deep x 32 plus the rebate – rebate is 12mm – giving you a 45mm thickness of frame.

 It is important to consult the specific fire-rated frame manufacturer’s literature and adhere to the recommendations provided to ensure compliance with the relevant BS standards.

Causes of doors binding

There are several potential causes for doors to bind: 

  1. Moisture: High humidity or water damage can cause wooden doors to expand or warp, leading to binding when they come into contact with the door frame.
  2. Paint or Finish Build-up: Paint or finish can accumulate on the edges of doors over time, making them thicker and more likely to bind against the frame.
  3. Shifting Foundation: When a house settles or its foundation shifts, it can cause the door frame to become misaligned, leading to binding.
  4. Loose Hinges or Hardware: If the hinges or hardware are loose or misaligned, it can cause the door to sag or twist, resulting in binding.
  5. Swelling of Wooden Doors: Changes in temperature or humidity can cause wooden doors to expand, leading to binding if there is not enough space for them to move freely within the frame.
  6. Misaligned Strike Plate: The strike plate, which is attached to the door frame and receives the door’s latch or bolt, could be misaligned, causing the door to bind when attempting to close or latch.
  7. Warped Door Frame: A warped door frame can prevent the door from closing properly and cause binding.
  8. Over time – hinges drop and need readjusting as with age.

These are just a few possible causes of doors binding, and the specific cause can vary depending on the situation. If you are experiencing a binding door, it may be helpful to inspect the door, frame, hinges, and hardware to determine the exact cause.

Why is my door/frame warped

There can be several reasons for a door or door frame to become warped. Some possible causes include:

  1. Moisture: Excess moisture in the air or water seeping into the wood can cause it to expand and contract, leading to warping.
  2. Temperature fluctuations: Extreme temperature changes can also cause the wood to expand and contract, resulting in warping.
  3. Poor installation: If the door or door frame was not installed correctly, it may not be aligned properly, causing the door to warp over time.
  4. Aging: Over time, wood naturally deteriorates and loses its structural stability, which can contribute to warping.
  5. Physical damage: Any excessive force or pressure applied to the door or frame, such as slamming or kicking, can lead to warping.

To prevent or fix a warped door or frame, it is important to address the underlying cause. This may involve improving ventilation, addressing moisture issues, ensuring proper installation, or replacing damaged components.

What is an Acoustic door

An acoustic door is a specially designed door that is used to reduce or control the transmission of sound between two different spaces. These doors are constructed with materials that have high soundproofing properties, such as multiple layers of dense wood or metal, and are often filled with insulating materials like foam or mineral wool. The tight seals around the door frame and threshold also help to prevent sound leakage. Acoustic doors are commonly used in recording studios, theatres, concert halls, movie theatres, offices, or any other space where sound insulation and control are required.

What is an Acoustic Fire door

An acoustic fire door, also known as a fire-rated acoustic door, is a special type of door designed to provide both fire protection and sound insulation. It is commonly used in buildings, such as hospitals, theatres, recording studios, and residential complexes, where it is crucial to maintain sound resistance and meet fire safety regulations.

Acoustic fire doors feature a combination of materials that offer both fire resistance and soundproofing capabilities. The construction typically includes a solid core made of fire-resistant materials, such as mineral wool or gypsum, which helps prevent the spread of fire and smoke. The door is then covered with sound-dampening materials, such as acoustic panels or multi-layered solid wood, to minimize noise transfer between rooms.

These doors are usually equipped with fire-rated hardware, such as fire-rated hinges, door closers, and intumescent seals, which expand when exposed to heat, creating a barrier against smoke and flames. Additionally, acoustic fire doors are often tested and certified to meet specific fire resistance ratings, typically ranging from 30 minutes to 120 minutes (1-2 hours), depending on the building regulations and requirements.

Acoustic fire doors serve a dual purpose of protecting against fire hazards while also helping to maintain acoustic comfort and privacy within a building.

DDA Compliance for door

DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance for doors in the UK refers to ensuring that doors and their surrounding areas are accessible to people with disabilities. This is in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act.

DDA compliance for doors includes several requirements: 

  1. Width: Doors should have a minimum clear opening width of 800mm for most buildings and 825mm for buildings that are likely to have wheelchairs or powered mobility devices.
  2. Thresholds: Thresholds should be level or have ramps with a maximum gradient of 1:20 for easy access.
  3. Handles and Operability: Door handles should be easy to grip and operate and should have a lever or lever-like mechanism for easy use. The force required for operating a door should be reasonable and not too heavy.
  4. Visual Contrast: Doors should provide visual contrast between door frames and surrounding walls to aid visually impaired individuals in navigation.
  5. Signage: Doors should have appropriate signage, including clear and easy-to-read labels and symbols for access, exits, and toilets.
  6. Door Closing Speed: Doors should have a controlled closing mechanism to prevent accidental slamming or trapping of fingers.
  7. Safety Glass: Glass doors or adjacent glass panels should be made of safety glass or have safety markings to prevent accidental collisions.
  8. Automatic Doors: In certain cases, especially for heavy doors or where there is high foot traffic, automatic doors should be installed to ensure ease of access for individuals with mobility impairments.

It is important to note that DDA compliance is not just limited to the physical aspects of the door, but also includes considerations of the overall accessibility of the building and its surroundings. This includes the availability of accessible parking spaces, ramps or lifts for vertical access, and accessible routes leading up to the door.

To ensure DDA compliance for doors, it is recommended to consult with a professional architect, contractor, or accessibility expert, who can provide guidance on the specific requirements for your building. Additionally, you may want to refer to official guidelines such as Approved Document M of the Building Regulations for detailed information on accessibility standards for doors in the UK.

What is a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)

A fire risk assessment is a process that aims to identify potential fire hazards in a building or a specific area, evaluate the level of risk associated with these hazards, and develop suitable control measures to minimize the likelihood of fire occurrence and limit its potential impact.

During a fire risk assessment, a qualified assessor conducts a thorough examination of the premises, considering factors such as the building’s structure, occupancy, means of escape, sources of ignition, flammable materials, and existing fire safety measures. The assessment involves checking fire safety equipment, identifying any deficiencies or areas for improvement, and analysing the evacuation procedures and emergency plans.

The main objectives of a fire risk assessment are to:

  1. Identify potential fire hazards and ignition sources.
  2. Determine the level of risk associated with these hazards.
  3. Evaluate the existing fire safety measures and their effectiveness.
  4. Propose additional control measures to reduce the identified risks.
  5. Prioritize actions to mitigate the highest risks.
  6. Develop an evacuation plan in case of fire.
  7. Ensure compliance with legal requirements and fire safety regulations.
  8. Provide a documented record of the assessment and actions taken.

Fire risk assessments are typically conducted by competent individuals, either internally by qualified staff or by hiring professional fire safety consultants. The assessment should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains relevant and effective, especially when there are changes in the building or occupancy.

The fire risk assessment process follows a systematic approach that includes the following steps 

  1. Identify potential fire hazards: This involves identifying any potential sources of ignition, such as electrical equipment, heating systems, or open flames, as well as flammable materials or substances.
  2. Evaluate the level of risk: Once the hazards are identified, their potential to cause a fire is assessed based on factors such as their likelihood of occurrence and the potential severity of the fire. This allows for prioritizing risks and focusing on areas that pose the highest threat.
  3. Consider existing fire safety measures: The current fire safety measures and controls, such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, extinguishers, and emergency exits, are evaluated to determine their effectiveness and identify any deficiencies or maintenance requirements.
  4. Develop control measures: Based on the identified hazards and risks, appropriate control measures are proposed to reduce or eliminate these risks. This may include implementing fire prevention measures, improving fire detection systems, providing adequate firefighting equipment, or implementing evacuation plans and staff training.
  5. Implement and monitor: The proposed control measures are implemented, and their effectiveness is regularly monitored and reviewed. This includes ensuring that staff, residents, or occupants are trained in fire safety procedures and that maintenance and inspections of fire safety equipment are completed as required.
  6. Record and communicate findings: The fire risk assessment process should be thoroughly documented, including an assessment report that outlines the identified hazards, evaluated risks, and recommended control measures. This report should be shared with relevant stakeholders, such as building owners, managers, fire safety personnel, and local authorities.

Fire risk assessments play a crucial role in maintaining the safety of buildings and minimizing the potential impact of fires. By identifying and addressing potential fire hazards, they help prevent fires from occurring or aid in the early detection and effective response to fires when they do occur.

What is a Fire Door Survey (FDIS)

A fire door survey is a comprehensive inspection and assessment of fire doors in a building. It involves a thorough examination of each fire door to determine if it meets the required safety standards and regulations for fire resistance. The survey may include checking the condition of the doors, frames, hardware, seals, and glazing, as well as assessing their functionality and compliance with fire safety regulations. The purpose of a fire door survey is to identify any faults, deficiencies, or maintenance requirements to ensure that fire doors can effectively function as intended during a fire emergency. We would recommend you have a professional, experienced, and competent Fire Door Surveyor perform your survey before ordering any materials.

What is a Fire Compartment Survey

A fire compartment survey is a detailed assessment of the potential fire risks and measures in place within a specific area or compartment of a building. It involves inspecting and evaluating various aspects such as fire-resistant walls, doors, ceilings, floors, ventilation systems, and fire containment measures.

During the survey, a fire safety expert assesses whether the compartment meets the required fire safety standards and regulations. They may also identify any gaps or deficiencies in the fire safety measures and provide recommendations for improvements.

The survey aims to ensure that fire safety measures are in place, possible risks are identified, and appropriate actions are taken to prevent fire from spreading or causing harm to people and property. It is often conducted as part of a comprehensive fire risk assessment for a building or as a standalone inspection for a specific compartment.

We would recommend you have a professional, experienced, qualified, and competent Surveyor perform your survey before ordering any materials.

What are British Fire Door Regulations

British fire door regulations establish the requirements and standards for the design, installation, and maintenance of fire doors in the United Kingdom. Some of the key regulations and guidance documents related to fire doors in the UK include:

  1. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: This legislation places a legal obligation on building owners and occupiers to ensure fire safety, including the installation of fire doors where necessary.
  2. British Standard BS 476: Fire tests on building materials and structures: This standard specifies various fire resistance tests for determining the fire performance of various building elements, including fire doors.
  3. Building Regulations Approved Document B: This document provides guidance on meeting the requirements of fire safety regulations within different types of buildings. It includes specific sections on fire doors, specifying their construction, installation, and the necessity for self-closing devices.
  4. The Fire Door Assembly: A specifier’s guide and The Fire Door Installation: A specifier’s guide: These guides, produced by the British Woodworking Federation, provide comprehensive information on selecting, specifying, and installing fire doors to ensure compliance with regulations.
  5. Certifire: Certifire is a voluntary third-party certification scheme for fire doors and associated products. It ensures that fire doors meet the required standards and are independently tested and assessed.
What is BS 476 Part 22:1987

BS 476 Part 22: 1987 is a British Standard for methods of fire resistance testing for door sets. It covers the assessment of the ability of a door set to maintain its integrity and insulation performance when subjected to fire from one side and heat from the other, using a furnace test. The standard provides guidance on various aspects of testing, including specimen preparation, test conditions, assessment criteria, and reporting of results. It is commonly used as a benchmark for fire-resistant door sets in the UK construction industry.

What are the British Standards for Fire Rated ironmongery

The British Standards for fire rated ironmongery are as follows:

  1. BS EN 1634-1:2014 – Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable windows, and elements of building hardware – Part 1: Fire resistance tests for doors, shutters, and openable windows
  2. BS EN 1634-2:2018 – Fire resistance and smoke control tests for door and shutter assemblies, openable windows, and elements of building hardware – Part 2: Fire resistance characterisations of elements of building hardware
  3. BS EN 1154:2013+A1:2016 – Building hardware – Controlled door closing devices – Requirements and test methods
  4. BS EN 1155:1997+A1:2002 – Building hardware – Electrically powered hold-open devices for swing doors – Requirements and test methods
  5. BS EN 1125:2008 – Panic exit devices operated by a horizontal bar for single leaf doors – Requirements and test methods

These standards provide guidelines and specifications for fire rated ironmongery to ensure their performance and safety in the event of a fire. Compliance with these standards is important in maintaining the integrity of fire doors and other fire-resistant building elements.

What is the Judith Hackett Report

The Judith Hackett Report, also known as the “Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety,” is a report commissioned by the UK government following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in June 2017. The report was led by Dame Judith Hackett, a former Chair of the Health and Safety Executive.

The report aimed to examine the current building regulations and fire safety system in England and make recommendations for improvement. It focused on high-rise residential buildings and sought to identify flaws in the system that may have contributed to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The report was published in May 2018 and presented a set of proposals for a more robust and effective regulatory framework for high-rise buildings. Some of the key recommendations included a more simplified and clearer regulatory system, stronger oversight and compliance processes, mandatory reporting of fire safety information, and improved competence and training within the construction and building safety industry.

The findings of the Judith Hackett Report have played a significant role in shaping subsequent reforms and discussions related to building safety regulations in the UK.

Do buildings under English Heritage have differing fire regulations

Yes, English heritage buildings are subject to specific fire regulations due to their historical and architectural significance. The regulations aim to balance the preservation of the building’s historic features while ensuring the safety of its occupants. These regulations may differ from those applicable to modern buildings and often require a nuanced approach to fire safety measures. English Heritage provides guidance and advice to building owners and managers on fire risk assessment, prevention, and mitigation in historic properties.

Do listed buildings have different fire regulations

Yes, listed buildings often have different fire regulations compared to other buildings. This is because listed buildings are considered to have historical or architectural significance and are protected by law, so any modifications or alterations to these buildings need to be carefully considered and may require special permissions. The fire regulations for listed buildings aim to strike a balance between preserving the building’s heritage and ensuring the safety of occupants in case of a fire.

The Oxford Fire Door Company offers a comprehensive range of bespoke door solutions, backed by expertise, customization options, fire safety compliance, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. These qualities make them an attractive choice for trade developers, builders, interior designers, surveyors, architects, estates, and end users seeking reliable and tailored door solutions.