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Who Can Install Fire Doors?

When it comes to fire doors, there are many regulations that must be upheld to ensure maximum fire protection and resistance is adhered to. Correctly fitted fire doors are an essential part of upholding fire safety regulations in commercial and domestic buildings. 

FD30 and FD60 fire doors provide 30 minutes and 60 minutes of fire protection respectively. This is a critical regulation for fire resistance. Installing fire doors also come with their own challenges and requirements. Having a level of competency and expertise will surely help, and is required, in upholding fire resistance within a building. 

The importance of fire door installation

It is imperative that the installation of a fire door is correct. Even FD30 and FD60 fire doors will provide as little as 5 - 10 minutes of fire protection if badly installed. Fire doors are a prominent feature in fire safety, and allow time for fire rescue teams to safely detain a fire. If the doors are not compartmentalising the fire effectively, it’ll put the occupants of the premises and fire safety teams at risk. 

There are specific responsibilities when installing a fire door. Installing it correctly is just as important as the product specifications themselves. Instructions provided by the manufacturer will inform you how to install all components of the fire door. Certified hinges and other hardware should be included by the manufacturer.

While there is no formal qualification to fire door installation, a level of expertise and competency is required. The Fire Safety Order defines a Competent Person as 'someone with sufficient training and experience, qualifications and knowledge to be able to implement fire safety measures (some or all) in a building'.

Man using a bench saw

Do you need to be qualified to fit fire doors?

Despite the fact that the Code of Practice for Fire Door Assemblies does not require a particular certification to install fire doors, there are accreditations available you must undertake to provide proficiency to the installation. Accreditation can also provide a level of comfort and reassurance to customers and homeowners alike. 

With the regulatory requirements of the manufacturing of a fire door, it will come as no surprise that fire doors must be installed to certain standards also.

Each part of a fire door installation is certified separately. It is important to check that each is certified and credible prior to installation. Fire door suppliers will supply specific installation instructions and need to be followed to a tee. Any altering of any components of hardware, glazing, or other features should not be undertaken by anybody without a level of expertise. Any damage to its components can inhibit the doors fire protection and performance.

There are many specialists nationwide that are suitably qualified to fit and install fire doors. If you are not prepared to undertake a qualification/accreditation to fit your own door, do not hesitate to contact a specialist. This may be the easier option if you are looking to install several fire doors into a larger building.

Who can install a fire door?

It is not as straightforward as answering that anybody can fit a fire door. A certain level of competency and expertise is required to fit a fire door to enable that their fire protection properties and regulations are adhered to. However, this does not mean that you are required to be a professional carpenter or door fitter to install one.

White Internal Door Frame

Do you need certified fire door frames?

Fire doors are all regulated to FD standards, but fire door frames are also required to be regulated to fire protection standards. Understandably, the fire door frame should be compatible with the fire door you intend on installing. All fire door frames that enter the market come with evidence of performance and installation instructions. The instructions should be followed precisely by somebody with a level of fire protection expertise. Not following the provided instructions will inhibit the level of protection it will provide. These instructions will also provide the specific frame dimensions and the specification for intumescent strips and smoke seals.

Different fire door frames will come with different properties. FD30 regulated frames tend to have softer wood, and FD60 tend to have harder wood. The density of the wood used also pertains to the effectiveness of the integrity and stability of the door. As hardwood can often be unpredictable, it may not always be the case that they are used for FD60 doors. 

Fire door installation training

Fire door installation courses exist to gain the accreditation required to install a fire door competently. They offer suitable training that covers many aspects of the installation process.

CITB offers a course on the Installation of fire door assemblies and door sets. ‘The purpose of training delivered against this standard is to provide candidates with knowledge covering the installation requirements for timber fire doors assemblies and door sets.’ Teaching you the roles of timber in the installation process, these courses are sure to set you on your way to installing a fire door.

A drill, paint tin and other tools

Why is fitting a fire door correctly so important?

The functionality of a fire door’s performance is affected heavily by the installation of the door itself. For maximum effectiveness, instructions must be followed to the letter.

There is also a legal requirement for fire door manufacturers to prove that their fire door performs as described. This can be undertaken by certified third-party independent regulators. This will also determine their FD rating, depending on how long they can withstand flames. 

Installation errors

Fire doors are part of a larger fire protection system. Fire door frames, intumescent strips and smoke seals all pertain to the fire protection of the building. If one of these fails to meet standards then the whole system will fail. If any part of the system is failed by inspections or not maintained by the Responsible Person, the system will fail and the fire door will no longer act as intended. 

There are common issues found with fire door installations:

  • Incorrectly fitted fire and smoke seals

  • Inconsistent gaps between the fire door and its frame

  • Insufficient signage

  • Unsuitable hinges

  • Damage to the door

If any of these errors are observed, do not hesitate to contact your local fire door specialist. 

Fire doors save lives, and any hitch in the system can render them useless. Thorough checks should be carried out regularly each year. Installation and alterations should be carried out by competent persons using certified fire door products.

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