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Guest Donna Ash

Do fire doors need latches?

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Guest Donna Ash

Hi,
Information seems varied on the topic of fire doors. Basically, looking for clarification that it is OK to not have latches if there is an overhead door closer present on a fire door. Many Thanks

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Guest Neil Ashdown

Hi Donna,

Yes you are right. Info on fire doors is very varied and this is because the scope of what you can do (and can't do) depends on the fire test evidence for that particular door. So in answer to your question you can have a fire door 'unlatched' and held closed by the self closing device provided that the door has test evidence for that use. Check with the door supplier / manufacturer, if its a new one they should be able to supply certification and product data sheets with the info you need. Any more fire door related questions.........please don't hesitate.

Regards,

Neil Ashdown

Fire Door Inspection Scheme

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Most fire door assemblies fitted with single axis hinges (butt hinges) and fitted with mortise latches rely upon the latch bolt to make an important contribution to the performance of the door in the event of fire, the self-closer alone would not be sufficient. The latch prevents the fire door from distorting in the initial stages of the fire. If you require a fire door without a latch then you would need a pivot hinge and the test details that come with the door should indicate this is possibility.

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Guest ScottSa

Hi,

re fire doors not needing a latch if a fire-rated self closer is fitted, how can I determine which is a suitable fire-rated closer in this situation? Which fire door closer types are suitable. Are they marked as such, i.e. suitable for use without door latches?

Regards,

Scott

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The only self closer I have seen that doesn't use a latch is a pivot hinge (floor hinge) which I have seen used on double doors in a corridor. As far as I am aware there is no marking which denotes this and I would imagine you would need to contact the manufacturer to check this out.

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Guest filip oprisa

all fire doors at Banatines health spa have NO latches

are they breaking the law???

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Unlatched fire doors are common place especially in corridor situations where a latch would be an unnecessary hindrance. Check with the door manufacturers' installation instructions / data sheet that the door has suitable evidence of fire performance 'unlatched'.  Similarly, make sure the self-closing device has evidence of fire performance for use with an unlatched fire door.  The usual fire rated BS EN 1935 good quality butt hinges are suitable for unlatched fire doors.

Section 3 of 'The Code of Practice: Fire & Escape Doors' at http://firecode.org.uk/Code of Practice 2009 Issue 3.pdf provides further information.

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An example of the documentation you should receive when you purchase a certified fire door, http://www.premdor.co.uk/pdf/download-centre/fire-certificates/certifire-cf-195-certificate-of-approval.pdf. If it is not a certified fire door then you could use the services of a fire door inspector.

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Guest Matty

Hi. Quick question I hung some fire doors today and my customer is not happy because  there is no fire sticky tape around the latch when it’s in the door, is this a legal requirement or not ? 

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Matty,  Are you referring to intumescent gasket material?   This material is fitted around the lock-case / latch-case and behind the forend and keep.  It is commonly required for use with timber based FD60 doors but not always for FD30 doors depending on the door's test evidence and the lock case size.

You should consult the door's data sheet with regard to permitted latch/lock and any requirement for intumescent gaskets.

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