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Published on March 22, 2024 4:20 AM

Composite fire doors are an essential part of any building’s safety plan. These doors are designed to withstand high temperatures and prevent the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases. They are made from a combination of materials, including timber, steel, and glass. They are available in a range of styles and designs to suit any building.

Understanding Composite Fire Doors is crucial for anyone involved in the construction or renovation of a building. These doors are designed to meet strict safety standards and regulations. They must be installed correctly to ensure their effectiveness. They are available in a range of sizes and configurations, and can be customised to suit the specific needs of any building.

When it comes to Design and Aesthetics, composite fire doors offer a range of options to suit any building’s style and decor. They can be finished in a range of colours and materials, including timber, steel, and glass. They can also be designed to match existing doors and fittings. They are also available with a range of glazing options, including clear, frosted, and decorative glass, to add a touch of elegance to any building.

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Key Takeaways

Understanding Composite Fire Doors

Definition and Core Components

Composite fire doors are a type of fire door made up of multiple materials, such as timber, steel, and PVCu. The combination of these materials provides enhanced durability and insulation properties. The core of the door is made up of a fire-resistant material that helps to impede the spread of fire.

The door is typically made up of two skins, with the core material sandwiched in between. The skins can be made from a range of materials, including glass reinforced plastic (GRP), which is a popular choice due to its strength and durability.

Fire Resistance and Certification

Composite fire doors are designed to withstand exposure to sustained flaming on both sides and keep the amount of smoke produced to a minimum. They are tested to ensure that they can contain a fire for a minimum of 30 minutes, which is known as an FD30 rating. Some composite fire doors are also tested to an FD30S rating, which means that they have been tested for smoke control as well as fire resistance.

To ensure that composite fire doors meet the necessary safety standards, they must be certified by a third-party certification body. The most common certification schemes for fire doors in the UK are BS476 Part 22 and BS EN 1634-1. These schemes test the doors to ensure that they meet the required fire resistance and smoke control standards.

Comparing Composite to Other Fire Doors

When compared to other types of fire doors, composite fire doors offer a number of advantages. For example, they are typically more durable than timber fire doors, and they offer better insulation properties than steel fire doors. They also offer a wider range of design options than other types of fire doors. They can be made to look like traditional timber doors or modern glass doors.

Design and Aesthetics

Composite fire doors are available in a range of designs and styles to suit your home’s aesthetic. Here are some of the design and aesthetic features of composite fire doors:

Colour and Finish Options

Composite fire doors are available in a range of colours and finishes, including woodgrain finish, which gives the door a natural wood appearance. The colour options available include white, black, grey, and various shades of brown. The finish options available include smooth or textured finishes.

Glass and Glazing Features

Composite fire doors can be fitted with glass and glazing features. The glass options available include Pyrobelite, which is a fire-resistant glass that can withstand high temperatures. The glazing cassette is also available in a range of finishes to match the door’s colour and finish.

Customisation and Styles

Composite fire doors can be customised to suit your preferences. The customisation options available include the design of the door, the glass, and the glazing cassette. The door styles available include panelled and glazed fire-resistant doorsets, which feature the same stylish aesthetics as classic composite doors.

Technical Specifications

Composite fire doors are designed to provide both fire and smoke protection, as well as high levels of security. This section will outline the technical specifications of composite fire doors, including their fire and smoke protection, security features, durability, and endurance.

Fire and Smoke Protection

Composite fire doors are designed to withstand fire for a specified period of time, typically 30 minutes or 60 minutes. They are constructed with a fire-resistant core, which is surrounded by layers of fire-resistant materials. The door is also fitted with an intumescent seal, which expands when exposed to heat and seals the gap between the door and the frame. This helps to prevent the passage of smoke and fire.

In addition to fire protection, composite fire doors are also designed to provide smoke control. They are fitted with a smoke seal, which helps to prevent the passage of smoke through the door. This is important as smoke inhalation can be just as dangerous as fire.

Security Features

Composite fire doors are highly secure and are designed to meet the requirements of PAS24. They are fitted with a multipoint locking system, which engages at several points around the frame when the door is locked. The locking mechanism is operated by a lever/lever handle, which is highly secure and robust.

Durability and Endurance

Composite fire doors are designed to be highly durable and have a long lifespan. They are constructed with high-performance materials, which are designed to withstand the rigours of everyday use. They are also low maintenance, requiring only occasional cleaning to keep them looking their best.

Installation and Fittings

Composite fire doors are an essential element of any fire safety plan. They are designed to withstand fire for up to 30 minutes, providing valuable time for occupants to escape the building. However, installing composite fire doors requires careful consideration and attention to detail to ensure they function correctly in the event of a fire.

Door Furniture and Hardware

When it comes to door furniture and hardware options, composite fire doors are no different from standard doors. Handles, spyholes, and toplights can all be incorporated into a composite fire door, but it’s essential to ensure that any hardware used is fire-rated and complies with relevant safety standards.

Frames and Sealing Systems

Frames are an essential component of composite fire doors. The Winkhaus Fireframe is a popular choice for composite fire doors as it provides a complete solution for fire-rated frames, seals, and hardware. Sealing systems are also crucial for composite fire doors, as they help to prevent smoke and fire from spreading through gaps around the door.

Professional Fitting and Service

Professional fitting and service are essential for composite fire doors to function correctly. It’s recommended to seek the services of a professional installer who has experience in fitting composite fire doors. They will ensure that the door and frame are correctly installed, and the sealing systems are appropriately fitted.

Regulations and Compliance

When it comes to composite fire doors, it is important to ensure that they meet all relevant building and fire safety regulations. In the UK, these regulations are set out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and failure to comply with them can result in serious consequences.

Building and Fire Safety Regulations

Composite fire doors must meet the requirements set out in Building Regulations, which include ensuring that they are fire-resistant and meet specific standards for fire resistance. This means that they must be able to withstand fire for a certain period of time, usually 30 or 60 minutes.

In addition to Building Regulations, composite fire doors must also comply with fire safety regulations, such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. These regulations require regular checks to ensure that self-closing devices are working and that fire doors, including flat entrance doors, are in efficient working order.

Third-Party Certification

To ensure that composite fire doors are compliant and trusted, make sure to choose doors that have been third-party certified. This means that they have been independently tested and certified to meet the relevant standards for fire resistance and other safety requirements.

When choosing composite fire doors, look for doors that have been certified by a trusted third-party certification body, such as the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) or the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). These certification bodies have rigorous testing procedures and can provide assurance that the doors are compliant and meet the necessary safety standards.

Practical Considerations

Cost and Value

Composite fire doors are a valuable investment for any homeowner or business owner looking to enhance the safety and security of their property. While they may be more expensive than traditional wooden doors, they offer a range of benefits that make them a worthwhile investment.

The cost of composite fire doors varies depending on factors such as size, design, and hardware. However, the long-term value they provide makes them a cost-effective solution. Composite fire doors are durable and long-lasting, requiring minimal repairs and maintenance over their lifespan.

Maintenance and Care

One of the key benefits of composite fire doors is their low maintenance requirements. Unlike traditional wooden doors, composite fire doors do not require regular sanding, painting or staining to maintain their appearance. They are resistant to warping, cracking, and rotting, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas or harsh weather conditions.

To keep composite fire doors looking their best, homeowners or business owners should clean them regularly with a mild detergent and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the door’s surface.

Thermal Efficiency

Composite fire doors are thermally efficient, meaning they can help to reduce energy bills by keeping the property warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They are designed with a high-density foam core that provides excellent insulation properties, helping to retain heat and prevent draughts.

To maximise the thermal efficiency of composite fire doors, homeowners or business owners should ensure that the door is properly installed with a tight seal around the frame. They should also consider installing weatherstripping to further improve energy efficiency.

Advanced Features

Innovative Materials and Techniques

Composite fire doors are made using expert manufacturing techniques. These techniques combine different materials to create a highly secure and fire-resistant door. These doors are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and prevent the spread of fire, making them an essential safety feature in any building.

One of the key features of composite fire doors is the foiled PVC skin that covers the door. This skin is designed to look like traditional timber, but it is much more durable and resistant to damage. It is also available in a range of colors and finishes to suit any style of building.

The REHAU outer frame is another innovative feature of composite fire doors. This frame is made from a high-quality PVC material that is designed to be strong, durable, and resistant to damage. It also has excellent thermal insulation properties, which helps to keep buildings warm and reduce energy costs.

Enhanced Security Systems

Composite fire doors are highly secure and feature a range of advanced security systems to keep buildings safe. The doors are fitted with a PAS24 security system, which is a standard for enhanced security in the UK. This system ensures that the door is resistant to forced entry and provides excellent protection against intruders.

The multipoint locking system is another key security feature of composite fire doors. This system locks the door at multiple points around the frame, making it extremely difficult to break into. The locks and closers are also designed to be highly durable and long-lasting, ensuring that the door remains secure for many years.

The concealed closer is another innovative security feature of composite fire doors. This closer is hidden within the frame of the door, making it almost impossible to tamper with. It also ensures that the door closes smoothly and securely every time.

Applications and Use Cases

Residential and Commercial Use

Composite fire doors are an excellent choice for both residential and commercial buildings. They are designed to provide superior fire protection and can withstand exposure to sustained flaming on both sides while keeping the amount of smoke produced to a minimum.

For residential use, composite fire doors are commonly used in social housing units. They are also a popular choice for integral garage doors as they can help prevent the spread of fire from the garage to the rest of the house.

In commercial buildings, composite fire doors are a requirement by law. They are commonly used in areas where fire protection is critical, such as stairwells, corridors, and other escape routes. They are also used in areas where valuable equipment or materials are stored, such as server rooms or storage areas.

External and Internal Installations

Composite fire doors can be installed both externally and internally. External fire doors are designed to prevent the spread of fire from the outside of the building to the inside. They are commonly used in areas where there is a risk of fire, such as in industrial or chemical plants.

Internal fire doors are designed to prevent the spread of fire within a building. They are commonly used in areas where there is a high risk of fire, such as in kitchens, boiler rooms, and other areas where heat or flames are present.

Composite fire doors can be customized to fit any size or shape of opening. They are available in a range of finishes and glazing options, making them a versatile choice for any application.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can one tell if their composite door meets fire safety standards?

To ensure that your composite door meets fire safety standards, look for the FD30 rating. This rating indicates that the door can withstand fire for up to 30 minutes. Additionally, make sure that the door has been tested and certified by an accredited fire safety testing organization.

What are the typical costs associated with installing a composite fire door?

The cost of installing a composite fire door can vary. Factors such as the size of the door, the materials used, and the complexity of the installation can affect the cost. However, on average, the cost can range from £500 to £1000.

What are the main benefits of choosing a composite fire door for a flat?

Composite fire doors offer several benefits for flats. These benefits include providing a high level of fire protection and insulation. They are also durable and long-lasting, require minimal maintenance, and can be customized to match the aesthetic of the building.

Are there specific regulations for composite fire doors in flats and apartments?

Yes, there are specific regulations for composite fire doors in flats and apartments. These regulations require that the doors meet certain fire safety standards and are installed by a qualified professional.

What should one consider when selecting a composite fire door for external use?

When selecting a composite fire door for external use, consider the level of fire protection needed, the climate and weather conditions in the area, and the aesthetic of the building. Also, ensure that the door has been tested and certified by an accredited fire safety testing organization.

How does the FD30 rating affect the performance of composite fire doors?

The FD30 rating indicates that the composite fire door can withstand fire for up to 30 minutes. This rating ensures that the door provides a high level of fire protection. It can also give occupants enough time to evacuate the building in case of a fire.

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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