Give most homeowners a choice regarding internal doors and most will choose based on aesthetic appeal or cost. Fire safety needs to take a forefront in creation.
However, for Architects, specifiers and developers, planning and/or designing any inhabited space, the primary concern must always be safety. Manufacturers also have high stakes in fire-safety, following technical legislation to ensure products line up with BSA and European standards.
High quality and high function fire doors should offer high levels of fire retardancy, which will save many lives. There are approximately 260 fire fatalities every year in the UK. A decrease of nearly 80 lives per year from a decade ago, which is mainly due to an increase in fire safety standards.
A well-designed, high-quality fire door will delay the spread of fire and smoke without causing too much hindrance to the everyday movement of people and goods. Every fire door is required to act as a barrier to the passage of smoke and/or fire to varying degrees depending upon its location within a building and associated fire hazards.
A recent fire in A Grade II- listed Hotel and Conference Centre in Leicester caused the need for major refurbishment. The fire, which broke out early in the morning in June last year, started within the dry store room located within one the building’s basement blocks, but due to the fitment of fire doors throughout the building, the fire was largely contained to the basement and ground floor areas. However, smoke damage was widespread throughout the building.
Fire doors are function items, meeting a number of regulations such as sound, accessibility, ventilation, thermal efficiency and safety glazing as well as fire safety requirements. fire safety
Installing good quality fire doors helps prevent the spread of fire throughout the building – giving occupants vital additional time in which to vacate the premises safely.
Design plays a crucial part in ensuring resident safety too. A compartmentalised building design used in conjunction with functioning fire doors can prevent the spread of fire from one area to another while allowing a flow of foot traffic around the building. Fire doors have two important functions in a fire; when closed they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire and when opened they provide a means of escape.
However, not all fire doors are created equal, as recent Police tests, following the Grenfell disaster, have shown discrepancies in the real-world fire door performance of some manufacturers, where doors which were designed to resist fire for 30 minutes, failed after just 15.
E&SW Knowles has 95 years’ experience designing and building high quality and high functioning doors, made from superior, fire resistant materials and engineered to minimise exposure to both smoke and heat. The Midland’s based manufacturer is continuously developing and evolving its processes to suit the needs of the construction industry.
E&SW Knowles offers a large range of high-quality fire doors, rated from FD30 to FD120, giving not only a large choice of styles and finishes to meet consumer requirements but 30 – 120 minutes of fire resistance if a fire was to start within the property. By using its own tooling, the company is also able to meet all requirements and special profiles in-house, quickly and efficiently, without compromising on quality or functionality. Lead times range from 3-5 days for standard doors and 8-10 days for bespoke.
The fire resistance of all E&SW Knowles fire doors has been proven through destructive fire testing and by assessment by the UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited test facility. Third-party certification demonstrates a consistency of manufacture which, in combination with test evidence, provides customers with the confidence that every product will perform as expected.