Replacing fire doors

There are many reasons why you may want to replace your fire doors. They may have become worn, stained or damaged over time. They may no longer suit your aesthetic plans for your living space, or you may simply wish to replace them with something that has more fire-stopping capability, replacing your FD30-rated fire doors with FD60-rated internal doors that will keep fire at bay for twice as long.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to respond when it’s time to replace your fire doors. Here, we’ll look at when you know it’s time to replace your fire door, how to install your new fire door, and whether your fire-rated internal doors can be repaired rather than being replaced outright. Join us as we explore everything that you need to know about replacing your fire doors.

When to replace fire doors?

Fire doors, like all internal doors, are built to last. They are thicker than conventional internal doors, measuring 44mm in thickness, while most internal doors are between 35mm and 40mm thick. They have a more robust construction and usually feature intumescent strips, smoke seals or both. They also require special hardware like hinges and handles that can withstand high temperatures without melting or warping.

Despite their sturdy construction, however, there are some circumstances under which it may be prudent to replace your fire doors.

These include:

  • Damage has been caused to the door through wear or misuse
  • The layers of the door have begun to separate (also known as delamination)
  • The structure has been compromised due to vandalism
  • The door has been used in the event of a fire and has sustained fire damage
  • Damage has been caused to the glass pane within your internal fire door
  • The door can no longer be opened or shut or kept shut
  • The door has become too stiff and will not properly open or close

If you have recently renovated or redecorated your property, it may be that your existing fire door no longer suits your interior’s aesthetic. Fortunately, you don’t have to compromise on style in the name of fire safety. Internal fire doors are available in a wide range of sizes, styles and finishes. So you can get the perfect look while also ensuring that your property is fire-safe.

Is it possible to repair a fire door?

There are some circumstances under which it is possible or advisable to repair a fire door rather than replacing it. Surface-level damage can be repaired, and damaged intumescent strips or smoke seals can be replaced. Other door hardware like handles or hinges may also be replaced without the need to replace the whole fire door.

When carrying out repairs, however, it is essential to ensure the following:

  • The door must be able to close and fit flush with the frame after the repair
  • Smoke seals and intumescent strips should be continuous in length to ensure no gaps in protection at the joints
  • Any broken or damaged hinges must be replaced with BS EN1935 compliant fire-rated hinges
  • There must be three hinges attached to the door at all times
  • All replacement door components must be CE marked
  • All fire-safe components must be replaced with like-for-like equivalents

These checks will determine whether or not the door is still fit for purpose as a fire door. It’s also important to note that major damage such as holes in the door, missing parts or panels or a poor fit between the door and the frame cannot be repaired. Under these circumstances, it is best to replace the entire fire door.

Can a normal door be used as a fire door?

A standard internal door cannot be used as a fire door. While internal doors can be fitted with fireproofing measures, this does not necessarily make them fit for purpose as a fire door. And it certainly doesn’t make them compliant with  British Standard 476 fire safety guidelines.

Remember, fire doors are thicker than most internal doors, and will have a different construction. As such, a fire door leaf cannot be contained within a standard door frame, nor should a normal internal door be housed in a fire door frame.

Installing a standard door leaf in a fire door frame could leave gaps through which smoke or heat could escape in the event of a fire. Worse still, installing an FD30-rated fire door leaf in a standard internal door frame may cause the door to become stuck, creating a serious fire safety hazard.

Only an FD30-rated fire door leaf or above should be used in a fire door frame.

That said, there are some measures that you can take to give your other internal doors a greater degree of fire protection. These include:

  • Applying a fire-resistant finish or paint
  • Fitting an intumescent strip
  • Fitting a smoke seal
  • Replacing the glazing with alternative glazing made from ceramic or borosilicate
  • Adding a third door hinge

Nonetheless, these measures will not necessarily imbue your existing internal doors with the properties or protections of a fire door.

How to install a fire door

If you’re a landlord or a business owner, you are legally required to enlist a certified professional to install your internal fire doors. While there is no law stating that you must have your fire doors professionally installed it’s important to remember how gravely important a fire door is to your household’s safety. Even a slight inconsistency in space between the door and the frame can be enough to admit heat and smoke, nullifying a fire door’s capabilities.

The procedure for installing a fire door is much the same as it is for installing any other internal door. The only difference is that a third hinge must be added that is equal in distance between the top and bottom hinge. Remember, a fire door leaf must also be installed in a fire door frame.

Take a look at our range of fire doors

If the time has come to replace your fire doors, you’ll find that many of our most popular internal doors are also available as fire doors. Whether you’re looking for glazed doors, finished doors, painted doors or unfinished doors, you’ll find something in our internal fire door range to suit your tastes and interior design concept.