Oakwood Doors

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Oakwood Doors supplies a wide range of internal fire doors.
April 7, 2016

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Fire doors explained: A beginner’s guide

To put it simply, fire doors save lives.

These specialist doors are tested against the elements and purpose-built to withstand roaring fires for as long as possible.

Fire doors have a few vital safety features and really can be the difference between life and death.

If you own a commercial or non-domestic property, there are strict regulations and guidelines to follow, ensuring the doors can withstand certain heats. Fire doors can also have massive advantages for private properties.




Features of fire doors

Here are some of the key features to look out for in terms of both domestic and commercial use:

  • Fire doors are made up of various components. The door itself is usually made from a solid timber frame, but they can sometimes be covered again in fire-resistant glass.
  • Around the edges of the door will be the intumescent seal, which is designed to expand when temperatures reach beyond 200°C to seal the gaps between the door and frame.
  • For a private premises, it is advised to install fire doors where the risk is most imminent, for example the kitchen, or rooms which house lots of electrical devices. If your property is a new build, it should have been subject to regulations ensuring certain doors are fire doors – check this with the developer.
  • For commercial or non-domestic properties, liability lies with whoever is deemed the ‘responsible person’ for that property or the employer. For example, the owner of the property, or the person in control of the property for trade reasons would be responsible.
  • Thorough risk assessments must be carried out and it is advisable to get professional help with all fire-safety-related regulations. There is more to fire safety than just fire doors; escape routes, lighting, warning systems and equipment checks are also required.
  • When you’re choosing a door it’s important to know what the different specifications mean. The FD code shows how many minutes of fire a door can withstand, for example an FD20 has been tested to withstand 20 minutes. The most common of the codes is FD30.
  • Around 42% of deaths during house fires are not from direct contact with the flames, but the consumption of smoke. With this in mind, keep an eye out for a doorset with cold smoke seals. These should be within the intumescent seal.


5 step fire door checklist

Here are five areas to check when investigating fire doors (read full article here):

Check out IFSEC Global’s interactive visualisation of what an effective fire door needs to comply with relevant standards and regulations.

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paul wells
paul wells
August 3, 2017 10:46 am

I note you have rebated fire & smoke seals, but no mention of surfacece mounted fire & smoke seals, perhaps you could explain why they are not listed.


[…] درب ضد حریق یا همان درب مقاوم در برابر حریق، قسمتی از سیستم های محافظت در برابر حریق در ساختمان است. و از آن به منظور مهار حریق، دود و خروج اضطراری در زمان حریق استفاده می شود. رشد بسیار چشمگیر کنترل دسترسی، موضوعی غیر قابل انکار است. می بایست درب ضد حریق با توجه به این رشد پاسخگوی نیاز ها باشند. موضوع عملکرد و مقاومت در برابر حریق یک محصول زمانی نمایان می شود که روزانه با آن سر و کار داریم.   در دنیا درب ضد حریق بر اساس دو استاندارد کلی تولید می گردد: آمریکایی: (National Fire Protection Association (NFPA و (Underwriters Laboratories (UL هندی یا انگلیسی: (British Standards(BSو (Indian Standards(IS […]

Raymond Cooper
Raymond Cooper
September 24, 2018 4:54 pm

I’ve been wanting to learn more about fire doors, so I appreciated your article. I thought it was really cool to learn that fire doors have a seal around the edges that expands and seals a door when temperatures reach over 200 degrees Celsius. Does the sealing of a door make it harder for the fire to spread? Or does it do more for keeping the fire from receiving the oxygen it needs to thrive? https://allthingsinspector.com/product/ada-door-pressure-gauge-push-pull-0-35lbs/

June 20, 2019 11:03 am

Great post, to install fire doors where the risk is most imminent (SLS Dubai), for example, the kitchen, or rooms which house lots of electrical devices.

August 21, 2019 11:11 am

We live in Sheltered housing apartments in Hoole Chester The building three floor 36 apartments house high & is 7 yrs old Our floor is top floor residents on this floor age aged with disabilities. The communal fire doors have automatic self closing system. What if these doors fail to close in sleeping hours . This would probably cussed the death of any residents less mobile. Less time to evacuate in time . I have had to fight for the right to be allowed to close our communal fire door at night . We have new residents younger couple &insists… Read more »

Derek McDoogle
Derek McDoogle
October 29, 2019 7:45 pm

I like how you explain that fire doors are usually made from a solid timber frame, but they can sometimes be covered again in fire-resistant glass. My boss told me that he would like to make sure that our building is safe so that we can feel more comfortable during our shift. I will share this article with him so he can be aware of the benefits of installing fire doors since our office is located in a fire risk zone.

Kristofer Van Wagner
Kristofer Van Wagner
March 19, 2020 9:29 am

Thank you so much for this great post on fire doors, especially in explaining its features. I like how you explained that fire doors are made from solid timber frames that are sometimes covered by fire-resistant glass. My sister just moved to a condominium in Sydney and I will ask her to check the fire safety measures that her building has stipulated. As a matter of fact, I will share this article with her to ensure that the condominium is well-equipped in preventing fires.

April 22, 2020 10:10 am