Fire safety is something you should always be thinking about. Everything from your internal linings to interior doors should be considered. Avoiding fire safety measures, and the maintenance that comes along with them can result in serious accidents, fines and building regulation violations.
If you are updating or beginning a new job, consider starting with your doors. Installing fire doors or upgrading your current doors can help to reduce the risk in the event of a fire. It gives fire fighters more time to access any burning areas, helps to prevent the spread of fire and crucially helps keep important means of escape clear. If you are concerned fire doors may disrupt the overall look of a room, or be too disruptive or expensive, read on to find out how to turn normal doors into fire doors.
When decorating, you can paint your wooden doors to match your chosen décor and still create, safe fire doors. By using a specific fire door paint, you can upgrade doors so that they have 30 minute fire resistance. The doors don’t need to be stripped and you don’t need to be qualified to use most fire door paint (or varnish). With most products you can also request a Certificate of Supply, signed by the applicator which can be shown to your local authority if requested for verification.
Once you’ve painted your doors with a fire door paint, you can continue decoration as normal, overcoating with a decorative paint.
If you don’t want to interrupt the natural beauty of the wood on your timber doors, you can use a varnish to create fire doors. Fire door varnish works in a similar way to fire door paint, by upgrading the door so that it has 30 minute fire resistance.
A clear varnish with these properties can again help to reduce hazards created by fire, such as smoke, which can be just as dangerous as a fire. By using a fire door varnish, you can transform and upgrade your doors at the same time. You have the choice of different finishes, depending on the look and feel of your surroundings, so you don’t need to compromise when it comes to decoration.
Remember, to ensure you’ve created fire doors which will work, check the door and frames for any gaps that may allow the fire to pass through and seal them with a suitable intumescent mastic or filler. Gaps may be present if a door hasn’t been installed correctly or is old, which will disrupt the effectiveness of your fire door paint or varnish if not deal with.
Additionally, contacting your Building Control Officers to check which doors they require protecting, if they wish to see other adjustments made to the doors such as self closers, intumescent strips, etc. It can also be worth checking which side of the door they require protecting, as in some instances just one side is sufficient. For bedroom doors for example, the majority of the time they require just the room side to be upgraded to stop the fire getting into the corridor it leads on to. Doors which require both sides to be upgraded could be doors at the top or bottom of stairs, or doors that break up corridors like you see in hotels.
If you have timber doors that have been installed correctly, and meet the minimum requirements, all you need to do is apply either the paint or varnish and your ordinary doors will be upgraded to fire doors. You can apply fire door stickers onto the doors after upgrading so that they are clearly labelled if you wish.
As standards vary widely throughout the UK from property to property and region to region, it is important to check your doors are suitable, as there are minimum requirements they must meet to be appropriate to upgrade. You should check what these requirements are with your supplier and we also recommend seeking approval from your authority prior to purchase and use of these systems.