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Linda

Fire door hinges

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Some of the fire doors in the building where I work which was built in the early 1980s, have three hinges but have no BS or CE markings, is this a problem? 

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I assume we are talking about steel hinges and in the 1980,s they did not need to be BS or CE marked but if new hinges need to be fitted, then they should meet the modern day standards.

 

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I have looked at the 1980s fire doors again, some have stainless steel hinges but some have brass, I notice  that where one fire door was replaced during refurbishment that the old brass hinges were used, should these have been replaced hinges to suit modern day requirements?

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When replacing a fire door leaf the hinges and screws should be replaced at the same time. Hinges are subject to a lot of stress due to the weight of the door and pressure from the self closing device and therefore wear out much sooner.

Replace with fire rated CE marked to BS EN 1935 steel or brass hinges with a durability grade 13 or 14. If the doors are FD60 they should have intumescent gaskets between each blade and the timber frame and door edge.

Caution: You get what you pay for and do make sure the correct screws are used and that they are a secure fit in their fixing holes!!!

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Single Axis Hinges

Hinges and latches have an important role in ensuring the integrity of the door. The fire door hinges must remain adequately attached, in spite of the charring of wood in the vicinity. It is common to use three hinges although tests have shown that with some doors two hinges may be adequate for a 30 minute fire door (FD30). Steel and brass hinges are effective for a half-hour door, but only steel hinges will be satisfactory for a 60 minute fire door (FD60). For the latter, it may be necessary to use hinges with extended flaps (broad butts) so that fixing is maintained even when severe charring has taken place.

BS EN 1935: 2002: Building Hardware Single Axis Hinges is the current European standard for single axis hinges and being able to understand the CE markings, provided when purchasing hinges, is of some importance. Guide to Interpreting Markings for Single Axis Hinges.

CE and BS marking simple tells you the the hinge has passed BS EN 1935 and may be suitable for fire doors, you need the documentation to decide if the they are suitable for fire doors by checking the coding system. 

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Further to the above in my opinion the hinges you speak of, seems to have met the standards at the time they were installed and do not require changing unless a new fire door set is fitted.

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A fully certificated fire door is tested as a door set, which is the door and frame. Any other arrangements are known as a nominal fire doors which can be a so called fire door fitted into an existing frame, an upgraded door using fire proofing material or intumescent paint or paper, which can be acceptable in certain situations.

It all depends on what the enforcing authority will accept, all will accept a certificated fire door set, and most will accept nominal fire doors, providing they are well fitting and acceptable in the particular situation and carrying documentation proving its fire resistance.

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On 29/09/2017 at 19:52, Tom Sutton said:

Single Axis Hinges

Hinges and latches have an important role in ensuring the integrity of the door. The fire door hinges must remain adequately attached, in spite of the charring of wood in the vicinity. It is common to use three hinges although tests have shown that with some doors two hinges may be adequate for a 30 minute fire door (FD30). Steel and brass hinges are effective for a half-hour door, but only steel hinges will be satisfactory for a 60 minute fire door (FD60). For the latter, it may be necessary to use hinges with extended flaps (broad butts) so that fixing is maintained even when severe charring has taken place.

BS EN 1935: 2002: Building Hardware Single Axis Hinges is the current European standard for single axis hinges and being able to understand the CE markings, provided when purchasing hinges, is of some importance. Guide to Interpreting Markings for Single Axis Hinges.

CE and BS marking simple tells you the the hinge has passed BS EN 1935 and may be suitable for fire doors, you need the documentation to decide if the they are suitable for fire doors by checking the coding system. 

Tom I recently visited a site that had 2 hinges fitted to a brand new FD30, the FM argued that 2 hinges were complaint. Although the hinges where CE BS 1935 marked I was not happy with them as they did not look wright and there was no sign of any intrumisent pads under the hinges so I stood by my decision.  I have since found ou that one of the pins had fallen out of the hinge and the door was found hanging by the bottom hing!

My question is when is it appropriate to use just 2 hinges and is this a old or new regulation.

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The current standard (work in hand) states the manufacturer may recommend the use two hinges under special conditions, if experience allows to demonstrate adequate performance of the door. Consequently I would think you would need to study the documentation that accompanies the door or contact the manufacturer.

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Guest william

hi tom thanks for the very informative answers and posts-

my questions are in connection with nominal fire doors to a hmo in wales - the doors are old panel doors which have been upgraded with intumescent card and intumescent paint coating also. the doors have intumescent seals around the edge glued in place and have self closers attached . the frames are the original frames when the doors were fitted .

the doors were passed by the local council when the last hmo check was carried out in 2017. 

now however the fire brigade have visited the house and have ordered that all doors with any damage whatsoever will need to be replaced .

can you advise please - the fire officer stated on his visit that he could only adivse not enforce anything - if so then as the licence holder am i permitted to argue that the doors are already satisfied as fd30s - i take his point that damage needs inspecting and if so repairing but is it necessary to replace all the panel doors (about 15 doors) since they passed in 2017 and have not deteriorated since ?

it seems the fire officer just didnt like the look of the doors and is requesting new fire doors througout although there is not any reference to the frames - just the doors .

i am obvously keen to avoid any argument - and want a safe house for the residents - but changing the nominal fire doors seems unnecessary since as i stated they have the relevant fire retardent upgrades .

i await your views on the above although i fully understand you would not tell anyone what to do and there is no request for this .

simply put - what powers do the fire brigade have in matters such as this ? and is it worth arguing with the council or do i have no choice but to replace all the nominal doors as they are suggesting ?

sorry for long post 

thanks 

will 

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The Housing Department are usually the lead enforcer in HMO's although both the Housing Act, HMO Regs & Fire Safety Order apply.

Existing doors upgraded using third party accredited products in accordance with manufacturers instructions should give adequate performance such that you could provide a suitable case not to replace them. Enforcers can only suggest one solution and if you have a different one that achieves a similar level of safety they are meant to accept this (& appeals and determination processes exist to support this)

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