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Neil ashdown

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  1. You don't have to be accredited to install, maintain or repair fire doors. But you do need to be competent. The main issue is that there is little in the way of standardization when in comes to installing the different makes/models/types of fire doors. Different makes and models of fire door may well have different requirements for intumescent seal sizes, hinge positions and lock case sizes for example. All fire doors should have technical data sheets or installation instructions and these must be followed in their entirety. If not then, the performance certification is void and the fire performance may be jeopardized. So if you are installing a new fire door leaf into an existing frame, you may for example find that the required hinge positions are incompatible with the existing frame.
  2. Some housing associations specify the self-closer be fitted to the outside so that the fire safety officer can check residents have not removed the device. Where a self-closer is fitted to the push side it must have fire test evidence for that configuration, sufficient power-size to BS EN 1154 and be installed using the correct parallel arm bracket.
  3. There are competent persons that have the credentials to inspect fire doors, even where no evidence of performance is held by the building operator. The fire door inspector should provide a report detailing which doors are compliant and including a description of the work necessary to bring non-compliant doors to the required standard.
  4. Hi Troy, Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, organisations such as councils and housing associations have been noticeably careful to try and procure fire safety related services provided by competent persons. They are generally looking for evidence of competence such as a related qualification or membership of a certification scheme. BM Trada is one such scheme but there are others and there have been instances where organisations have accepted alternatives. So its worth asking the council what other proof of competencies are acceptable to them. I should add that, there is currently no legal requirement to have a particular qualification or belong to a certification scheme to be able to work on fire doors.
  5. Hi Ian, I understand your frustration. I have been in the fire door industry since January 2004 and have seen more incorrectly installed doors than correct ones. Even though manufacturers provide installation instructions, doors are still found to be non-compliant and therefore increasing the risk of premature failure in a fire. The reason why there are such strict limitations to edge trimming on some doors (generally speaking) is that many of the standard sized doors have a lightweight-core construction that is dependant on perimeter timber framing around the core for fire performance integrity. In order to keep prices down the framing section used is the minimum required to pass the 30 minute fire performance test. A fire door, just like a tonne of sand, is a commodity item when it comes to buyers from large construction companies needing to buy at the lowest price. However if you go 'upmarket' you can purchase solid core fire door blanks that have much greater trim allowances. You can then produce a non standard sized door but you must carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Always ask the supplier for them when you buy. Some suppliers aren't at all clued up on fire doors so only buy from suppliers that will provide the correct installation instructions and product data sheets. Fire doors are life safety devices so don't take chances.
  6. Hi Tq, Tom is correct sometimes seals are concealed but you should check with the door manufacturer and the seal manufacturer because different types and sizes of seals react to intense heat at varying degrees of temperature and at varying rates of expansion. You can buy seals from some manufacturers in varying colours and veneer finishes to compliment the door or frame decoration.
  7. Hi Louise, You are correct a fire door (unless a FIRE DOOR KEEP LOCKED cupboard or store type door) must have a self- closer and replacing a floor spring with a BS1154 compliant Fire Door overhead self-closer is fine (consider direction of travel if on an escape route though). However I would recommend consulting an FDIS qualified inspector/installer for guidance on how the work should be carried out in order to make sure you finish up with a compliant fire resisting door assembly, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places an obligation on the Responsible Person to ensure fire safety devices are fit for purpose and that Competent Persons are consulted as necessary. Hope this helps, kind regards Neil.
  8. Hi TomLon, Many doors have the old colour coded plugs and you are right they enable identification as to the fire rating and whether it is necessary to fit intumescent seals (some doors have them already fitted concealed behind the lippings at the vertical edges). For more information you could try http://www.bwfcertifire.org.uk/publications/fact-cards and www.fdis.co.uk Generally these days most FD30 doors should be fitted with 15mm intumescent fire seals (with smoke seals if FD30s) but older doors like yours may have been tested with 10mm seals. Its important to understand how fire doors should be installed and I would recommend consulting a qualified person and/or finding out more information at the websites above. You should also read BS 8214:2008 Code of practice for fire door assemblies. Kind regards, Neil Ashdown CertFDI
  9. Third party certificated fire door (and fire door-set) manufacturers and installers belonging to the BM TRADA Q Mark fire door scheme use coloured plugs to indicate fire door types and ratings. The plug also carries a number that by referencing to BM TRADA can be traced to the manufacturer. Other third party schemes such as BWF-Certifire and IFC use labels attached to the top edge of the door and head of the door frame. Regards, Neil Ashdown CertFDI Fire door inspector
  10. Just to say I agree with Tom. I work as a fire door inspector and receive this type of query sometimes and I always urge building operators (where they have engaged a professional for fire safety advice) to ask them to back-up their recommendations with references to legislation and best practice guidance documents particular to the matter in question. Having the relevant information will help you in the decisions you have to make. Regards, Neil Ashdown CertFDI
  11. Hi Paul, Yes this forum is very useful, I agree. The standard door size is 1981mm high so unfortunately you will be unable to cut a standard door as doing so would void its fire performance certification. However you will be able to purchase a fire door made-to-size. To clarify threshold gaps (under-cut) for fire doors: If the door also provides protection to limit the spread of cold smoke then the maximum gap is 3mm (or you can fit a threshold brush seal to contact the floor when the door is closed to a door with a gap of up to 10mm). If the door is fire only then the maximum gap is up to 10mm (depending on the door manufacturer's fire performance test evidence). Reference documents are BS 8214:2008 and BS9999 as well as the door manufacturer's installation instructions. All the best, Neil Ashdown CertFDI FDIS fire door inspector
  12. It is also worth taking into account that some fire doors need to have a latch or lock. They don't have fire performance test evidence 'unlatched' (unlatched means being held closed by the self-closer alone). If in doubt seek help from a Competent person.
  13. Hi Kemich37, You are correct removal of the Perko closer (causing voids inside the door and frame construction) would very likely result in early integrity failure of the doors in a fire situation. If you can identify the manufacturer of the fire doors by finding a label on the top or vertical edges of the door you can then contact their technical department for advice. If you are unable to identify the door manufacturer and any performance certification and you have the necessary competence then you may be able to repair the door and frame. You would need to be a competent joiner (assuming the doors are timber) to tightly splice hardwood of a density above 650 kg per m3 into the voids together with intumescent paper as a gasket material. The splicing must be tight in the mortice holes leaving no voids (how ever small) within the door and frame section. This is a job for a competent person and if you are at all unsure then you should seek professional help. In which case you could try the Fire Door Inspection Scheme at www.fdis.co.uk and info@fdis.co.uk Regards, Neil Ashdown.
  14. Hi, Assuming you have fitted new fire doors, then the fire door supplier will be able to provide you with a datasheet giving details of the correct handles and other door furniture/ironmongery suitable for use with those doors. You can find out more at www.bwfcertifre.org.uk and www.gai.org.uk Neil.
  15. As Tom says, refer to the plug colour codes chart. Most manufacturers use labels rather than plugs now, but my 'understanding' is that a green core within a coloured plug demotes that intumescent strip has already been fitted to the fire door (possibly beneath the lippings - check the top edge of the door and you may be able to see the ends of the strips).
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