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Neil Ashdown CertFDI

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About Neil Ashdown CertFDI

  • Birthday December 23

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    Fire Doors and installer/maintenance training

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  1. There are two gaps to consider when inspecting the top edge and vertical edges of a fire resisting door: 1) On the pull side there's the gap between the edges of the door leaf and the door frame. 2) On the push side there's the gap between the face of the door leaf and the edge of the door frame rebate stop. If the door leaf does not sit close to or on the stop, then it may be proud of the door frame on the pull side and this may be a cause of premature fire separation failure. Then there's the threshold gap too. If inspecting timber based fire doors, consult 'BS 8214:2016 Timber based fire door assemblies - Code of practice' for relevant information.
  2. Remove the grille cover and check inside to see if an intumescent air transfer grille has been fitted. Such intumescent grilles are often labelled on one edge with details of fire performance, which should be a test to BS 476 part 22 or BSEN 1634-1. The intumescent grille should be a tight fit in the aperture and depending on the construction of the door core the aperture may require a hardwood or intumescent liner. Example of an intumescent air transfer grille can be found here https://www.safelincs.co.uk/fire-rated-intumescent-air-transfer-grilles/?fGB=true&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImoKltsbW4QIVxbTtCh1uVQ4XEAYYASABEgITtPD_BwE
  3. I would advise you to consult Part M of the Building Regulations with regard to requirements for spy-viewers for wheelchair users. Fire performance tests have been conducted with more than one spy-viewer installed in one fire door leaf, but you should check with the company that manufactured the fire door before carrying out any installation work.
  4. Hi MartinP, Does your son own the maisonette or does he rent from a housing association or other landlord?
  5. Fitting that type of product will resolve the issue of restricted cold-smoke spread, but not the fire performance non-compliance caused by an excessive perimeter gap. If you can identify the fire door to its manufacturer you may be able to find out permissible gap tolerances for fire performance.
  6. Refer to 'Code of practice. Hardware for Fire & Escape Doors' at http://firecode.org.uk/Code_of_Practice_hardware_for_fire_and_escape_doors.pdf Sections 2.3.8 and 3.3.8 of the document refer to double action spring hinges (also known as Bommer Hinges). Section 3.3.10 covers floor springs and the double action hardware.
  7. Good point, Tom. In which case, it would most likely not be a fire resisting door and therefore would not need to self-close.
  8. The door must self-close. Therefore efforts should be made so that it does self-close and remain closed accordingly.
  9. If the 54mm thick door is required to provide only thirty minutes fire separation performance, then a softwood frame would be acceptable provided that it meets the specification contained in the door leaf technical data sheet.
  10. The door should be fitted with a suitable self-closing device and latch.They must both be compatible with the fire door leaf. The door must self-close to the stop of the door frame rebate overcoming resistance from the latch bolt and smoke seals so that the door leaf 'self-latches' into the keep at the door frame. A lock is optional, but clearly desirable for security purposes.
  11. All timber based fire doors tested to BS 476 - 22 and EN 1634-1 'currently' have intumescent fire seals. As an inspector I would always recommend existing / older timber-based fire doors should be fitted with seals. I do this on the basis that: 1) The building operator has a legal duty to take 'reasonable precautions' and keep fire doors in 'efficient' working order under the RR(FS)O. 2) The upgrading work is reasonably simple and cost effective. 3) Intumescent seals have proven evidence in tests in contributing to the fire separation performance of timber-based fire doors. If a client then decided not to fit the seals to existing / older doors, then its a matter for them and their fire strategy and fire risk assessment. They should justify their decision.
  12. Would need to see the doors in question. Fire doors vary (according to their construction) in the type of closer that's acceptable and to what degree the edges may be trimmed to fit replacement lippings. Clearly, you are attempting to improve on the current likely level of fire & smoke performance of the fire doors but it would be wise to engage a fire door inspector, they can report on what type of remedial work can be done.
  13. I would advise a thumb turn on the inside so that your teenage daughter can unlock from the inside without needing to search for the key. The Fire Safety Order does not apply inside your own private home but as its an FD30s door your may like to fit a fire rated lock. Personally, I would.
  14. Hi John, The first thing to say concerns smoke seals. If the students are deliberately pulling the fins away from the intumescent seal then it would be worth considering fitting plain fire only intumescent seals instead. A smoke seal will be required but a compression seal, bat-wing type seal or smoke seal in a carrier fitted to the top edge of the rebate stop may be less easy to damage. Try a sample piece for suitability before installation as some seals may interfere with the self-closing of the door, but clearly that won't help at square meeting edges (sorry). I would suggest you consult the Intumescent Fire Seals Association at https://www.ifsa.org.uk/documents/ and https://www.ifsa.org.uk/advice/ for advice Regarding the intumescent fire seals, these may be required to bypass interruptions for hardware (such as at locks and hinges) or interruption may be allowed. Only by consulting the installation data for the fire door and fire seal can you be sure of the requirement. Below is an image showing a common application of fire seals to an FD60 door assembly, so you can see one seal may bypass at hinge blades but as the lock is morticed centrally the seal would be cut around the lock face plate. Short lengths and cut pieces of fire seals are easily removed due to the nature of their self-adhesive fixing method. In many instances the door maintainer will use small gauge panel pins to hold the seals securely - so that may be an answer for you? If you intend to use intumescent mastic instead, consult the product manufacturer for advice. When replacing intumescent fire seals, be aware that different seals may react at different temperature ranges in a fire situation. Therefore, unless you can be sure of like for like replacement you should replace all seals of the door assembly together. It would be wise to speak to the seal manufacturer for information about the above before going ahead. As a footnote, I did hear of one case where a student was disciplined and the police involved because willful damage was caused to a fire door which may be? a beach of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 but I can't confirm the story as true!
  15. You make a good point JohnJWS. 1) Restricted smoke spread will be a requirement for flat entrance doors, there may however be smoke ventilation at the corridor and staircase. 2) There is a shortage of competent fire door installers.
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