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How much can I cut of our fire door?

Guest STrav

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Guest STrav

Hi I would be grateful if you could give me some advice, I am replacing some doors that I have as I am opening a childrens nursery, the doors that i am looking at have 2 glazed panels in them but they are too big for the door fram (door frame is 187cm and the doors are 210cm) is there a maximum you are allowed to trimm of to fit opening?, and if so is there a paint that can be bought to put on to the doors i currently have (these are solid doors and I would like to put a glazed panel in them)


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Are these fire fire doors and if they are what does the manufacturers instructions and test data say. Have these doors been required by an enforcing authority and what do they say. Check out http://www.bwfcertifire.org.uk/publications for more information on fire doors.

You are limited how much you can remove from the sides and the top of the leaf, but depending on the construction you may be able to remove more from the threshold of the door. Fitting glazing panels is a specialised job and you need a trained joiner.

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Fire doors are generally made to a specific size to fit a fire door frame and its important to make sure the door and frame are both fire rated otherwise you cannot be confident that they will perform in the event of a fire.

The correct option is to purchase new fire doors with a ready installed vision panel. Insist on a 'BWF Certifire' door and you must fit them according to the instructions supplied with the doors as tolerances are critical to performance.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Neil.

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Guest martynR

i moved in to my rented flat three years ago all the doors in the hallways and the flat them selves are all firedoors we have had problems with these flats since we moved in 1 year ago the housing trust said our central heatin wont work properly cause there is no gaps beetween fire doors they came and took inch half doors by planeing them down so now we have big gaps where we can stick our hands under doors in whole off property and hallways to communal areas i was wondering if these doors are still going to protect us from smoke now they have done this and will not effect the doors sealin properly if there is a fire in the block

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Thanks for your post. I am very concerned to hear about the work done to the fire doors fitted at your flat. The building owner and contractor 'may be' in very serious breach of the Fire Safety Order and you should seek formal advice from the local Fire Service.

If a fire breaks out while asleep the risk of death due to smoke inhalation is great. Therefore fire doors in this type of situation should have smoke seals fitted to the top and both long edges of the fire door or frame and they must be in constant contact with the door edges and frame when the door is closed. A self closer should be fitted.

At the bottom of the door, the maximum gap between the floor and the bottom edge of the door should be 3mm - YES 3mm !!!

That is about the thickness of a pound coin.

Ideally a drop down threshold seal should be fitted.

If you have fire and smoke resisting doors fitted at your flat building and the clearance between the floor and the bottom of the door has been increased by cutting or planing the door down as you say then the smoke protection offered has now been negated and should be put right without delay.

If I were resident in these flats I would take action without delay.

Regards, Neil Ashdown

Fire Door Inspection Scheme

London. WC1E 7BT

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Originally you could accept a 8 mm gap at the threshold (bottom) of a fire door but the latest guidance is BS 9999 which states,

"When installed, the threshold gap should where practicable be sealed by a (flexible edge) seal either with a leakage rate not exceeding 3 m3/h per metre at 25 Pa or just contacting the floor, giving an even contact with the floor but not exhibiting significant increased frictional forces that could interfere with the closing action of the door.Where this is impracticable, the threshold gap should not exceed 3 mm at any point."

It appears your situation does not meet those standards and this method to provide ventilation is not acceptable.

BS 8214 : 2008 states,

Under-door (threshold) gaps should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the particular doorset design. When fitted, smoke seals should give an even contact with the floor but should not exhibit significant increased frictional forces that could interfere with the closing action of the door (see BS 5588-112).
Again not acceptable.
You should discuss this with your housing trust and if necessary the Fire and Rescue Service.
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