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Trimming fire door?

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by daisy12345, 12 Nov 2020.

  1. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Hello, we recently bought a house and are considering replacing the old internal doors with fire doors. Problem is that the box room currently has a short door (189cm) with a transom above. I looked at the fire doors available on the market and most of them are 198cm, and specify that they can only be trimmed a few mm from the bottom. The carpenter I talked to didn't seem to be bothered and said that he could cut the 198cm doors from the bottom and put the bottom strip back. Wonder what's the best way to deal with the situation pls? The fire doors are just for our own safety rather than building regs.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The best way to deal with it is probably the one proferred by your chippie.
     
  4. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Thanks. Think that technically would invalidate the fire door's integrity? But the dilemma is that even with a fire door tailor-made to size, there's still a transom above that door which will need to be sorted out if we really want to do it properly...
     
  5. Bosswhite

    Bosswhite

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    Are you intending to have lodgers , there is no requirement to have fire doors in domestic property, standard doors are rated at half hour fire resistant
     
  6. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Thanks. No we'll live there ourselves. Were told fire doors are required by current building regs because there's a loft conversion, though the loft had building reg sign-off already, being done back in 1999. The current doors are quite old and flimsy, so we look to replace them anyway.
     
  7. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Any and all modifications to a fire door other than the very limited amount of planing permitted by the manufacturer (normally only a few millimetres off each edge and maybe 6 to 8mm off the bottom) will invalidate the fire certification of the door. Similarly taking anything off the top which defaces or removes the rating stickers (on CertFire doors) does the same. That means in theory that non standard doors always need to be made to order, which is what we do on commercial jobs. For my own house providing the trimming and inside were done competently, I would not see a problem.

    If you are concerned about the transom (panel or glazed?) then maybe you also need to consider the door casing packings, hinges, intumescent strips etc
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    And you should consider if the linings are suitable, as a fire door is only certified as one if in a suitable lining or frame and should be considered as a "door set" along with the frame/lining and the door furniture, and not just as a door.

    If the transom means there is a glass or other panel above then that too needs to be fire rated too.
     
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  9. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Thanks both. Yes that's also my understanding. The transom is glazed. Will consider replacing it with fire resistant glass at some point (apparently quite expensive!)... although the more I plan around all of these the more I think what's the real likelihood of a fire in the house lol.... My carpenter had a look at the existing door frames and said they don't need replacing... will get the other stuff such as hinges and intumescent strips
     
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  11. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The glass required is called "pyro" and is quite expensive. It also has to e installed using intumescent sealants.

    If you are looking at the door set as a whole, as suggested, you do need to verify the type and effectiveness of any packing between the wall and the outside of the casing. Unfortunately there only way to inspect this area is to remove the architraves on one side of the frame. Gaps packed with expanding foam, pink (so-called AFFF "fire rated") or ordinary, are no longer acceptable on fire door sets. Gaps should be packed with either mineral wool, topped with 10mm of intumescent caulk or intumescent caulk alone (please do a search for this as I have answered this issue in detail for another poster only s few weeks ago in detail)

    My comments are based on the preference upgrading to existing (higher) standards which is what I am generally required to do in my own day to day work
     
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2020
  12. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    At the time the work was carried out B Regs allowed for the existing doors to remain in place and fitted with self closers (usually removed the same day as the BCO has done his completion inspection!), any glazing replaced with georgian wired, provided an escape window was provided in the loft room, I assume this was the approach used and approved by B control. New build required a protected stairway. Anything you do with the doors will be an improvement, however you are under no legal obligation to upgrade to fire doors, although this would be advisable. The minimum requirement is for FD20, please note cold smoke seals should not be fitted if smoke detection is only installed in the stairway. I can't remember if smoke detection applied at the time, if not installed I would advise this even if its just battery operated.
    There is if a floor is over 4.5m above ground level or if no escape windows are provided at first floor, standard doors are not fire rated.
     
  13. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Thanks a lot. That's super helpful. Wonder if this is in the residential private properties or commercial properties? The carpenters I talked to didn't seem that bothered about the frames at all...
     
  14. daisy12345

    daisy12345

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    Yes there is a window in the loft, and we've now fitted mains-connected smoke alarm on all three floors.

    On the self closers of fire doors, I do wonder if this means that I should keep all the fire doors closed during the night if they are not fitted with self closers?
     
  15. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The standards fire fire doors should be the same for both. The law on fire doors changed some 15 years ago. Bigger joinery contractors i have worked for sometimes have one or more certified fire door inspectors on their staff. One man bands often seem unwilling to pay for the training and certification or are just plain ignorant of it
     
  16. frutbunn

    frutbunn

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    I'm not aware of any BCO's who insist on the frames being changed. The guidance states that FD20 doors should be used, the philosophy behind this is that the door should hold back the fire to allow escape coupled with early warning (detection), In reality a lower period of FR for the door would give adequate time for escape, however there is no recognised lower fire rated test so FD20 are specified. That was direct from someone from the D of E (or whichever dept it was then) who helped write the guidance, whether this would stand up as a defence at an inquest if another door was accepted is another matter!
    Self closers were omitted in favour of educating people to keep the doors closed, quite where this "education" is I've yet to see and also because virtually every single self closer fitted gets removed as soon as the BCO steps out the property after completing the work!
     
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It has always been a recommendation to close all the doors at night when you go to bed, this goes back decades, but the message seems to be lost nowadays, although the fire service still promote it. This used to be one of the things that everyone just did, and was not because of any law.

    The damage from just a little bit of black smoke smoke getting all around the house through open doors is considerable, and even a closed non fire door can retain heat from a fire for valuable minutes.
     
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