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Old style fire door identification with plugs

Guest TomLon

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I'm looking for some guidance on a particular set of fire doors currently in existence in a property of mine. They are graded using the old colour coded plug system, they have a blue core with an outside rim. I've found the article on this website that states these ARE 30 minute fire doors and are up to spec BUT they need intumescent strips.

My question was, is there any other guidance on these old plug methods of fire door gradings available, possibly some that outline the specifics they need with the intumescent strip fitting to make them FD30S compliant.

Many thanks for your help.

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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

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Further to Neil's contribution first check to see if intumescent seals have been fitted check the frame and the door leaf (top), smoke seals will be obvious. Preferable they should be fitted to the door frame but they can be fitted to the door leaf and once you have decided the fire resistance required, which will dictate the size of seal. If smoke stopping is required you will need to add a cold smoke seal which can be separate or combined. Then it will be a case of routing out the a channel for the seals to be fitted, then gluing in, some use self adhesive. You can get surface mounted seals but I preferred when you fit them into channels.

Check out http://www.bwfcertifire.org.uk/fire-door-seals and you can search on the net with " specification for fitting intumescent seals" worth a try.


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  • 3 years later...
Guest Martin miller

Hi Guys.

I have just done a fire door check and found grey plug with a black inner dot .

I can't found online  the rating for the doors. 

Any help please  Ty.

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Unfortunately there is no standard concerning plastic plugs and it is up to the manufacturer to decide colour coding. The only acceptable colour coding is the Trada and BWF systems and BWF does not use it anymore. I think the only way you will find out is if you can find any documentation that goes with the door.

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  • 4 years later...

I Have found some doors, which I believe were manufactured in the 1980s.

They have a black plug with a circular red core, very similar to the BWF plugs that I have seen.

Does anyone know what fire rating is indicated by this black plug?

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Possibly none - as far as I'm aware the BWF 'bullseye' plugs and the BM-TRADA 'fir tree' plugs that replace them are the only ones used/in use. Plugs were used for a time purely as a manufacturers mark (such as one that was in red, white & blue segments) and not representing any fire performance.

Our forum's resident fire door expert will hopefully be along to confirm/deny at some point

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15 hours ago, Neil Ashdown MAFDI said:

Are you sure it's black and not blue?


Blue plug with red centre indicates FD60 with intumescent seals required.

Good point - sometimes the blue is quite dark!

A photo of the door & plug in question might help.

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Yes its definitely a black plug, there are others with the blue and yellow plugs in the same area, I now have more information.

The doors is old, the fire strategy designates them as FD120, they are 44mm thick and have a 32mm intumescent seal to the jamb & head, and are fitted with a black plug with a circular red core.

Black plugs with red core from Q mark is for FD120 so I guess it could be a early forerunner to that. Not confident that a 44mm thick leaf will provide FD120 though. It still needs some investigating. 

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