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Replacing Fire Doors in a Multi-Story Office Building


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I recently did a health and safety review of a multi-storey office building. The building was constructed in 1987 with three protected stairwells. Fire doors have been raised as an issue for a number of years, but this was my first time visiting.

The fire doors have "hidden" intumescent strips and the BM Trada Q-Mark is present on some of the doors. The fire doors were in reasonable condition, but there was general wear and tear gaps, holes, missing screws etc.

The most recent fire door survey for the building has highlighted a number of issues excessive gaps, non-fire rated hinges etc. but has also said there are no fire seals on the doors with the "hidden" strips.

My concern is that the fire door surveyor was not aware of hidden strips and has raised repairs, upgrades and replacements where they are not needed.

I am intending to go back to the client and recommend that the fire doors were installed to the standards of that time and should still be fit for purpose and that any upgrades or repairs should be carried out following review by a specialist fire door assessor, as I don't really trust the previous assessors judgement.

Am I correct in the above and if i am are there any building regulations, standards, guidance or legislation that i will be able to go back to the client with to support this, as the proposed works are going to be very expensive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and only done a short course, some of the 'accreditations'  are awarded by the company providing the courses rather than a real qualification and you see lots of reports resulting in excessive work or incorrect assessment.

There is nothing wrong with a certified door where the intumescent is concealed behind the lipping as long as it is in otherwise good order - the most upgrading it may need is a cold smoke seal depending on the location of the door and overall risk assessment for which surface mounted retrofit smoke seals (without intumescent) are available.


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Guest Jonathan Agar

Yes unfortunately a little knowledge is dangerous, we had an instance several years ago where a joinery company decided that they needed to rout in a visible intumescent strip in to the edge of our timber FD120 doorsets without bothering to contact us, the manufacturer at the time to confirm the presence of the appropriate concealed  seals.

They carried out the unnecessary work without reference back to us and then tried to pass on the cost of what most likely, compromised the integrity of the tested doorsets.

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