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Fire Safety: How We Test Our Fire Rated Door Hardware

by P C Henderson on 23/08/2018

Why are Fire Doors Important?

Fire safety has always been a topic to be taken seriously, even more so after the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy where it has become a widespread topic of awareness and discussion within all industries.

Fire safety should be tackled by a multi strategy approach consisting of:

Fire doors fall into a number of these categories as they:

1.    Are a vital component to contain a fire in the compartment in which it starts

2.    Protect escape routes from fire which may spread from adjacent rooms

What are the Testing Requirements of Fire Doors?

To test a fire door it must be tested as a complete assembly or door set.

Bwfcertifire.org.uk defines a complete fire door set as “A complete assembly comprising the frame, any glazing, intumescent fire and smoke seals and all the ironmongery that is used on the door, such as hinges, overhead door closers, latches and locks”. This means that both the door and the hardware that holds it in place should be tested to British Standards for the system to be legally classified as fire-rated.

As a manufacturer of sliding and folding door hardware, we must ensure that our fire rated systems have been tested by a UKAS accredited company and meet the legal requirements of the British Standard, BS 476-22:1987. The hardware can then be combined with a certified fire door and other necessary components to become a complete fire door set.

Our soon to be launched Pocket Door Pro Fire Rated was recently submitted to extensive testing which was conducted by fire testing and consultancy company Exova. Here’s an insight into what our hardware is subjected to in such a test…

The Test

The certified fire rating test is designed to measure a full fire door sets ability to resist the passage of fire for a predetermined amount of time – most commonly 30 minutes (FD30) or 60 minutes (FD60).

The test was held at Exova Warrington’ fire testing facility which is accredited to ISO 17025. First, the full fire pocket door set was assembled into a supporting construction which was designed to replicate the products intended end use. One side of the door was then exposed to extreme fire and heat conditions to imitate a typical fire situation whilst then being closely observed for its stability, integrity, insulation and radiation for the required duration.

The timelapse video below shows the test in action – keep an eye on the timer to see how long the fire has been burning for. As you can see our fire door set is successfully keeping the fire contained within the test fire area – the product successfully passed to FD30 and FD60 standards.

Pocket Door Pro Fire Rated

Pocket Door Pro Fire Rated, which is to be launched late 2018, will be a great addition to our fire rated collection, alongside our Marathon Fire Rated sliding door system.