When are fire doors required for businesses?
Fire doors should be installed in all non-domestic buildings, where specified by an up-to-date fire risk assessment or compartmentation survey requires it.
All commercial buildings must have fire doors, in line with both the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and Building Regulations Approved Document B. Fire door placement should therefore form a central part of your wider fire strategy, which should always be designed by a qualified, competent person.
Where should fire doors be fitted?
All buildings are different, so it's vital to seek professional advice from a third party assessor to determine exactly where your fire doors need to be located, before being fitted by expert joiners and carpenters - ideally to BM Trada (Q Mark) standards.
In non-domestic, commercial premises, guidance is split into 'horizontal' and 'vertical' escape route recommendations. The basic principle though is that a fire door will be needed to allow access through any 'compartmentation line' identified in your building (for example, as an access point in a fire resistant wall). As a rule of thumb you will usually need a fire door wherever people need it in order to move through your building, but where passive fire protection needs to be maintained to stop fire and smoke spreading from different compartmentation zones.
NB: The fire door level of protection must coincide with the level of protection offered by the entire compartmentation line. For example, if a wall that offers 60 minutes fire protection, and you were install an FD30 fire door into the wall, you would bring the level of protection down to only 30 minutes. To ensure fire door placement is safe and compliant, third party support is recommended.
At JLA, we can inspect, manufacture and install a full range of fire doors - we also offer a full fire risk assessment service to help you identify risks and create a full fire safety plan for your premises.