Fire Door Ratings Explained: FD30 Vs FD60
Fire doors, like many other products, come in various different types. The variations of fire doors include materials, size, and fire resistance.
When choosing fire doors for a building, it is critical to choose the right ones – in fact, it can be the difference between life and death. Not only can failure to source and install the correct fire door lead to non-compliance issues, inadequate doors could lead to endangered lives and significant building damage.
The UK Building Regulations (Document B) covers fire safety in domestic and non-domestic properties, with guidance on fire doors. From these regulations you will be informed as to the requirements of fire doors for your premises, incusing location and durations of fire resistance.
This guide from our expert fire doors installers at CPFP explains fire door ratings and offers advice on whether you need FD30 or FD60 fire doors.
Fire Door Ratings Explained
FD30 and FD60 are the most common types of fire doors, hence why it is a popular question – which should I get? Before deciding, fire door ratings must first be explained.
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The fire resistance of a door is usually rated in 30-minute increments; FD30 means the door resists fire for 30 minutes. The longer the door can withstand fire in standardised tests, the higher the number and therefore the rating. The tests of fire doors’ fire resistance are specified in BS 476-22:1987 and BE EN 1634-1:2014.
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Other fire door ratings available are: FD60, FD90, FD120, FD240. The number displays the number of minutes the door is resistant for according to tests.
The resistance of fire doors is critical in the compartmentation of fire and smoke, whether it be in a room, multiple rooms, a corridor, or section. By compartmenting the fire and smoke, the spread of damage and risk is reduced and there is a greater chance that areas and people will be less affected. This can also keep evacuation routes clear, like corridors in residential buildings or hospitals.
Fire Door Rating FD30
FD30 fire doors are the most common. They can be used in a wide range of applications where 30 minutes of fire protection is adequate. This means within 30 minutes people can safely evacuate the building without the risk of fire and smoke spreading.
If FD30 is followed by an [S], this means the door not only resist fire, but also prevent the spread of smoke at ambient temperatures.
Fire Door Rating FD60
FD60 fire doors are also very common. Offering a whole hour of fire resistance, these doors provide double the length of evacuation time than FD30 doors. Where 30 minutes of protection is not long enough, or regulations stipulate an hour of protection, FD60 doors are often used.
FD30 or FD60
Whether you should get an FD30 or FD60 fire door comes down to the requirements of the building. Both FD30 and FD60 fire doors are essentially the same makeup and share many features, the difference is the length of time they resist fire. In terms of looks and function, both types come in single and double doorsets as well as glazed panel options.
Depending on the size, layout, and occupancy of a building, FD30 or FD60 may be more suitable. To apply this to real world scenarios: a small office with 10 staff in a small premises should suffice with FD30, but a large multi-storey office space for hundreds of staff would likely require at least FD60.
Read more: Structural Fire Protection – Structural Measures to Prevent the Spread of Fire
Approved Document B of the Building Regulations states the needs for fire resistance of fire doors depending on the positioning of the door. The requirements of this document must be met as a minimum; “the building shall be designed and constructed so that there are appropriate provisions for the early warning of fire, and appropriate means of escape in case of fire from the building to a place of safety outside the building capable of being safely and effectively used at all times”.
If the means of escape is simple and unencumbered, no fire doors may be required at all. Table C1 Provisions for Fire Doorsets in Appendix C: Fire Doorsets in Approved Document B Volume 1, as well as Table C1 in Appendix C of Volume 2 (for buildings other than dwellings), specify the minimum requirement of fire doorsets as FD20 or FD30. These tables specify the minimum fire resistance rating of fire doors when tested to BS 476-22 required for various door positions.
Where the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies – in all premises other than private homes – fire door requirements are decided by the risk factor outlined in the fire risk assessment.
For specialised applications, such as server rooms or medical applications, higher resistance ratings than FD30 and FD60 may be required. Higher risk buildings, i.e. those more prone to fire or more complex design, can require up to 240 minutes of protection (FD240). Ratings of over 60 minutes are rarely used for creating means of escape and are more commonly employed to protect property and valuable assets that cannot be removed.
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Fire Door Installations and Maintenance Bristol
It’s important to remember that fire resistance ratings aren’t the only consideration. One of the most critical components to the success and effectiveness of fire doors is the installation. If you are unsure on whether you need an FD30, FD60 or an even more resistance door, we can help!
CPFP are expert, IFCC accredited fire door installers – we offer the full professional service from installation to maintenance to ensure your fire doors are compliant, effective and lifesaving.
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