No one – four years’ on after the extreme horror of the Grenfell Tower tragedy – can possibly forget the importance of specialised, properly designed fire doors in every building, whatever the purpose and type of occupancy. Fire doors are critical to every building fire safety strategy. That’s not only to provide reliable and effective resistance against fire and flame, limitation of smoke spread in areas remote from a fire is also safety critical.
Specialist fire doors have a very important role in compartmentation to restrict the movement of fire. They are also vital in fire separation, to keep fire and smoke out of critical escape routes through perhaps protected lobbies and out to a place of safety. Fire doors with closers also fulfil a very important role to limit the chances of toxic smoke spread throughout occupied and escape areas.
The old advice for those trapped in their flats or apartments is to wet a towel, roll it up and place it along the bottom of a door to help hold back leaking smoke. Now there are better designed purpose-made solutions. There are now a variety of properly designed and tested threshold seals that can be used to reduce the chances of smoke spread. Those can be special drop seals or flexible seals, readily available and easily applied on new specialist doors.
New test work by the Intumescent Fire Seals Association (IFSA), supported by ASDMA, shows that even a narrow gap of just 3mm can let through large volumes of smoke in only a short time.
Specialist advice on fire doors and their important elements is easily and readily accessible through ASDMA and its members. Our members have specialist skills and knowledge in designing and making bespoke fire and smoke control doors. All of ASDMA’s members individually support the objectives of Fire Door Safety Week 2021, which are to raise awareness of the critical role that fire doors play in saving lives and protecting property. Fire Door Safety Week’s website has a host of useful and informative resources for those seeking fire safety advice; https://www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk/advice/