Skip to main content

When to Replace a Fire Door: Essential Information for Property Owners

28th June 2024

Fire doors are a crucial part of a building’s fire safety measures, designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, thereby providing occupants with a safe route for evacuation. Understanding when to replace a fire door is essential for business owners, landlords, and estate agencies to maintain compliance with fire safety regulations and ensure the safety of their properties. Here are key indicators that it's time to replace a fire door.

Visible Damage and Wear

Fire doors can suffer from wear and tear over time, impacting their effectiveness. Inspect your fire doors regularly for visible signs of damage such as:

  • Cracks or Splits in the Door or Frame: Any structural damage can compromise the door's ability to withstand fire.
  • Warping or Bending: A fire door must be perfectly aligned with the frame to function correctly. Warped doors cannot provide a proper seal.
  • Damage to the Surface: Holes, deep scratches, or surface damage can affect the integrity of the door.

If you notice any of these issues, it's crucial to replace the fire door promptly.

Gaps and Misalignment

A properly functioning fire door should fit snugly within its frame, with minimal gaps around the edges. The recommended gap is typically 3mm along the top and sides, and 8mm or less at the bottom. Larger gaps can allow smoke and fire to pass through, defeating the door's purpose. Regularly check the alignment of your fire doors and replace any that do not meet these specifications.

Faulty or Missing Components

Fire doors are not just solid pieces of material; they consist of several critical components that ensure their functionality, including:

  • Intumescent Strips and Seals: These expand when exposed to heat, sealing gaps around the door. Check for any damage or missing strips and replace them as needed.
  • Hinges and Closures: Fire door hinges and closures must be in good working order to ensure the door closes fully and correctly. Loose or faulty hardware should be repaired or replaced.
  • Glazing: If your fire door has a glass panel, ensure it is fire-rated and free from cracks or damage. The glazing must also be properly fitted to maintain fire resistance.

If any of these components are damaged or missing, replacing the fire door might be necessary to restore full functionality.

Compliance with Regulations

Fire safety regulations and standards evolve over time. It's essential to ensure that your fire doors comply with the latest requirements. For instance, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 mandates that fire doors in commercial and multi-occupancy buildings must be maintained and checked regularly. Non-compliance can result in significant penalties and increased risk to occupants.

Age of the Fire Door

While there is no specific lifespan for a fire door, regular wear and tear can degrade its performance over time. As a general rule, if a fire door is over 20 years old, it's prudent to consider its replacement. Advancements in fire door technology and materials mean newer doors might offer enhanced protection compared to older models.

Testing and Certification

Fire doors should be regularly tested and certified to ensure they meet fire safety standards. Look for certification marks such as the British Standard 476 or the European Standard EN 1634-1. If a fire door fails to meet these standards during inspections, it should be replaced immediately.

How Fire Stoppers Can Help

At Fire Stoppers, we specialise in providing comprehensive fire safety solutions for business owners, landlords, and estate agencies. Our services include detailed fire risk assessments, expert installation, and regular maintenance of fire safety equipment, including fire doors. Our team of professionals ensures that your fire doors are compliant with the latest regulations and function optimally. We also offer fire safety training to help you and your occupants understand the importance of fire safety measures and how to respond in an emergency. 

Partner with Fire Stoppers to ensure your properties are safe, compliant, and well-protected. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving the highest standards of fire safety.