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01 Apr 2024

A Deep Dive into FD30 Fire Door Specifications

London Fire Solutions (LFS) Stand: 4/H70

What is a Fire Door?

A fire door is a crucial passive fire protection (PFP) method. PFP is the term given to components or systems of a building which impede the spread of fire, or smoke, without system activation, such as fire doors and curtains, or fire-resistant coatings.

When correctly manufactured and fitted, fire doors can compartmentalise a fire to a limited space for a set amount of time, reducing the spread of fire (and smoke, if a FD30S or FD60S) throughout a building. Fire doors are strategically placed throughout a building, giving occupants the best chance of evacuating via a safe escape route following the fire evacuation strategy plan of the building. Fire doors are specially designed and manufactured to meet precise standards that ensure passive fire protection.

What is the Difference Between FD30 and FD60 Doors?

Fire doors offer varying levels of protection. FD30 doors are designed to offer 30 minutes of fire resistance, whereas FD60 doors offer up to 60 minutes of fire protection. At a legal minimum, new fire doors should offer at least 30 minutes of fire protection. More robust options are available for industrial settings, ranging from FD90 to FD240.

FD30 Fire Door Specifications

To be classed as an FD30 fire door, the integrity of the door and its components must offer the stability to withstand a fire for 30 minutes. This means that the door, frame, hinges, handles, locks, and signage must be FD30 rating approved for 30 minutes of fire resistance. It is not simply enough to state that this is the case – every certified fire door must go through stringent checks and independent test evidence must be supplied.

FD30 Door Components

The following components are pivotal for maximising fire resistance:

  • Door - FD30 doors usually have a 44mm thick core tested to the relevant standard.

  • Frames - These should be purchased alongside the door to ensure they are manufactured from the correctly specified materials. Both the door and frame should have an FD30 rating.

  • Intumescent Sealant - The sealant can be an acrylic substance that swells upon contact with heat, filling the gap between the door and the frame and preventing smoke and fire from passing through. This sealant should have been tested in linear gap seals between door frame and substrate.

  • Closers – Where required, two types of closers can be used: an overhead closer positioned above the door or a concealed closer enclosed within the door. Both kinds of closers must be tested with the configuration.

  • Hinges – It is advised that standard timber fire door sets should have at least 3 Grade 13 hinges however this is dependent on manufacturer test evidence.

  • Handles & Locks - Should be as per manufacturer’s test evidence and be suitable for the application required – ironmongery used on fire door sets will display the CE or UKCA conformity markings.

  • Vision Panel - Not all fire doors contain a vision panel, but if one does, then fire-rated glazed glass must be used as per manufacturer’s test evidence.

Testing FD30 Fire Doors

In the UK, fire doors must be independently tested to BS 476-22:1987 or the European equivalent BS EN 1634-1:2014. Once manufactured, the testing should be conducted at a UKAS-approved site with experienced and qualified engineers. Fire door certification requires third-party verification. Third-party verification boosts confidence that fire doors have been manufactured in line with the tested specification to ensure they achieve their designated fire resistance rating and are fit for purpose in the event of fire.

Where are FD30 Fire Doors Required?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005) states that fire doors are legally required in all non-domestic properties such as offices or factories. The Fire Safety Act 2021 has declared that fire doors are also legally required in residential buildings with at least 3 floors. As outlined in the Fire Order, a responsible person must be assigned to handle the fire safety aspects within a building. The responsible person must ensure appropriate risk assessments have been conducted and the action points are acted upon.

Commercial Buildings

Fire doors are required in all doorways that pave the escape routes. FD30-rated fire doors should be used for all communal doors in a low-rise commercial building, for example, separating hallways as per the building’s fire rated compartment lines. In rooms with a higher risk of a fire outbreak, such as a server room that contains a lot of electrical equipment, FD60 doors may be implemented instead of FD30 as they provide extended protection as per the building’s compartment line drawings and fire strategy plans.

Domestic Buildings

Approved Document B indicates the need for fire doors leading from a stairwell to every habitable room. In flats above 4.5m, FD30 doors must be installed to divide each flat from communal areas such as stairways, corridors, and lobbies. Fire doors should be strategically placed to enable a safe evacuation route for all residents following the fire evacuation strategy plan of the building.

Installation and Maintenance of FD30 Doors

The responsible person for the building should hire a qualified fire door installer to install their FD30 fire doors. For FD30 doors to successfully provide 30 minutes of fire protection, they must be correctly aligned and installed. Fire door installers have relevant industry training, and have the appropriate experience to fit them so that it complies with legal requirements and maximises the safety of both occupants and property.

With decades of experience installing, replacing and maintaining fire doors, along with a purpose-built training facility based in London, London Fire Solutions ensures their door installers and fire operatives are trained to the highest standards.

Fire doors should be inspected and maintained at least once every 6 months. More regular inspections should be carried out in areas with high traffic to examine any wear and tear that the door is encountering. Inspectors will conduct necessary surveys and produce a report recommending maintenance and repairs to ensure the door can still meet its fire rating of 30 minutes of resistance.


Do I need FD30 or FD60 fire doors?

FD30 doors are the most common fire doors. These doors are usually installed in low-rise buildings in which 30 minutes gives all occupants and residents appropriate protection within their building. In high-rise buildings, it is more common to find FD60 doors, giving occupants more time to escape should a fire occur.

Do FD30 doors need a vision panel?

Whether you invest in a fire door with a vision panel is entirely optional. It is more common to find an FD30 door with a vision panel in doors that lead to communal areas, such as between stairways. However, it also depends on several factors, such as the fire-rating requirements for a particular space.

Can I install a fire door myself?

Hiring a qualified fire door installer to install your fire door is recommended, as the only way the door can provide the designated fire-resistance rating is through correct alignment and installation. There are many legal requirements that fire doors should meet. A qualified installer is well-versed in these regulations and can install your fire door adequately to ensure you can rely on its effectiveness if a fire occurs.

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