012 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

NEW BUILD & SOCIAL HOUSING It cannot be underestimated the importance of fire doors in the safety of a building and its occupants. Here, Graham Hulland highlights the key issues to take into account when it comes to making a robust specification. According to the Chief Fire Officer Association, in 2013/2014 alone, there were 5561 fires in commercial and retail premises as well as 1898 fires in schools, higher education and health/hospital facilities. Even with an ever-increasing focus on risk assessments and a steadfast approach to preventative measures we can still do more to reduce these figures. Fire doors have an integral role to play in the passive protection of commercial, public and multi-occupancy buildings. The British Woodworking Federation, the organisation behind Fire Door Safety Week, states there are in excess of three million new fire doors bought and installed every year in the UK and yet worryingly, they also remain a significant area of neglect and often one of the first items to be downgraded within a specification. 12 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2016 Although architects and specifiers will be well aware that a fire door needs compliant door hardware and ironmongery to maintain fire safety integrity, it is an area that is so saturated with complex legislation and a multitude of issues to take into consideration – that making an informed and robust specification has become harder to achieve. When dealing with door hardware and ironmongery, specifiers should look to Approved Document B, which requires fire doors to be self closing and therefore fitted with an Automatic Self Closing Device defined as: ‘a device which is capable of closing the door from any angle against any latch fitted to the door.’ Any such door closing device should comply with BS EN1154 Controlled Door Closing Devices and be CE marked to this standard. In addition, the product must also have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) as without it the CE mark is invalid. The DoP will detail the essential characteristics of the door hardware to ensure it performs as required. Furthermore, today best practice is widely considered to mean only sourcing door ironmongery that is third party certified. All parts, including doors, closers, hinges, locks, intumescent seals, panic hardware, door furniture, hold-open and free-swing devices and signage should all be third party approved to provide assurance that products are fit for purpose. This is highlighted in Approved Document B, which states that: "Third party accredited product conformity certification schemes not only provide a means of identifying products, which have demonstrated that they have the requisite FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE Continued on page 14 >>>


BP 10 October 2016
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