House Fires: How To Prevent Them And What To Do In The Event Of A Fire

A safe and secure fire door may not just be a necessity in your home, but a lifesaver in the devastating event of a fire. Did you know, that according to the Fire Statistics: Great Britain which are compiled each year, by the Department for Communities and Local Government:

  • Last year Fire and Rescue Services in Great Britain attended 212,500 fires, which was a 10% increase on 2013
  • In 2014 there were 322 fire-related deaths in Great Britain
  • More than three quarters (80%) of fire-related fatalities occurred in dwelling fires
  • In 2014, there were 258 dwelling fire fatalities, more than in the previous year

These staggering facts bring home the reality of the devastation a fire can cause and just how likely these occurrences are. These facts drive our staff at Latham’s Security Doorsets to ensure we provide you with not only a secure and safe fire rated door but also the knowledge of why you need them in your property and how they work.

What is a fire rated door? Is it the same as a fire exit?

The short answer is no. This may come as a surprise because it is easy to get confused between a fire exit and fire rated door as it is quite a common misconception that they are the same. They are not the same; however, they do provide safety in the event of a fire, just in different ways. A fire exit door is equipped with a large internal push bar that allows people to vacate the premises in a quick and easy manoeuvre if there were to be a fire and in some cases also raises the fire alarm for emergency services to be called. A fire rated door has a specific fire resistance and acts as a barrier to keep the flames and smoke contained to the source. You will more than likely see these doors around your workplace fashioning the sticker ‘fire door keep shut’.

It is possible to have a fire exit door that is fire rated as well. These are generally used when the escape route entails going between units / sections of a building. The fire exit will allow you to quickly escape one section of the building closing behind you on an automatic closer to then contain the fire.

So, how does a fire rated door work?

The components of our fire doors include the door itself, made from steel; this is then held within the doorframe with seals that swell under immense heat, welding your door shut and therefore, acting as a barrier against yourself and the fire. It also helps to contain the fire to a specific area whilst emergency services are called to the scene, so in the unlikely event of a fire, a fire rated door attempts to ensure minimal damage to your property. This is highly important as 1 In 12 Fires spread from where they started to other rooms in the building.

NOTE: When installing a fire rated door it is very important that the doors are fitted correctly to ensure they act accordingly in the event of a fire. If you are unsure on how to fit these doors please hire a professional or alternatively you can give our customer advisors a call and they can help you or point you in the right direction.

Do I need a fire rated door?

When making any amendments to your home or to your commercial property you may find that your building/fire officer or building inspector may require a fire door fitted at certain points within your property. It is important that you check with those professionals where you need fire rated doors to comply with your building regulations. As a rule you will generally need a fire rated door

  • Between a house and an integral garage
  • Between the business and residential elements in a mixed-use building.
  • Where buildings are divided into compartments to protect escape routes such as corridors etc.
  • In domestic dwellings above two levels, every door leading to the stairwell (at all levels) must be a fire door where the door leads to a habitable room. (i.e not a bathroom or w/c). (Fire doors are also required in loft)
  • For non-domestic buildings, guidance is divided into two sections based on horizontal and vertical escape  routes

*(This list is not exhaustive so it is always best to check with your building inspector/ fire officer to ensure you comply with building regulations)

How is a fire door rated?

Without going into too much technical detail, all components of fire rated doors are required to adhere to product certification requirements by the local building code and fire code. In the UK a fire resisting doorset is put through a British Standard Fire Test (BS 476 Part 22) and then only if it passes will it be certified as a fire rated door. The results are then analysed, also by British Standards to determine how long the fire rated door will be resistant. Based on things such as; constructional details, distortion data and pressure readings etc.  The fire resistance rating is then written as a code FD and then a number which refers to how long a door is resistant in the event of a fire. For example a fire door that has a fire resistance for 30 minutes will be written as a FD30. It is then down to building regulations to dictate what fire rated door is needed where. At Latham’s Security Doorsets our stock doors are FD30 and our custom made fire rated doors come in a range of FD30, FD60, FD120, FD180, FD240 with some of the doors being fully certified up to a fire rating of 6 hours!!

Is a fire door going to be expensive and which fire rated door do I buy?

Not from Latham’s Security Doorsets although cost can entirely depend on what fire rating you need from your door, here, we pride ourselves in the quality of doors for your money. It is for that reason we are delighted to now be offering fire rated stock doors! Quite simply if you need a standard fire rating of FD30 (fire rated for 30 minutes), which is most common in domestic properties we are proud to offer the newest updated version of our heavy duty personnel door in both a flush finish and also our most popular panelled version. These doorsets are now not only secure with a 19 point locking system but available up to FD120. They are also sent with our Upgraded #304 Stainless Steel Handles as standard and start from as little as £599.99 + VAT !!

Need more than an FD30? No problem, at Latham’s Security Doorsets we now manufacture custom made fire rated doors at the most competitive prices. Our fire doors are UK tested to British Standards and are fully certified. Depending on which door you go for and what you need, we have doors that can be fire rated for up to 6 hours!! Not only are they safe and secure but at Latham’s security Doorsets we also ensure that our custom made fire rated doors are aesthetically pleasing and therefore are available primered or powder coated to any RAL and BS colour with a wide range of hardware options. With so many things to consider when purchasing a fire door you can always contact our customer advisors at [email protected] and they will be more than happy to help you. As mentioned before always check with your fire officer or building inspector that you are buying the correct fire rated door.


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