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Fire Door Frames - All You Need To Know

We recently published a piece on the importance of internal fire doors, what they are made of and more. We also followed this up with a guide to intumescent seals, including where they are fitted and how they work.

One of the final pieces of the puzzle to ensure you've got the correct set-up for a safe and effective fire door system is investing in the right fire door frame.

Whether you're shopping for a new frame for a new system or you're looking to refresh and upgrade your existing door frames that were fire compliant, here's what you need to know.

Does a Fire Door Need a Special Frame?

Put simply, fire doors will not work without a fire door frame. It mainly comes down to the intumescent seal that is attached to the door frame and expands when they reach a certain temperature. For fire doors to 'be' fire doors, the gap between the frame and the door leaf must be 4mm maximum.

What Are Fire Door Frames Made Of?

The main materials used to build frames for internal fire doors tend to be softwoods or hardwoods. This means that they can be high functioning and effective at maintaining fire safety for as long as possible without compromising on style.

The material 'density' used to build an internal fire door frame depends on the applicable fire rating. The fire door rating refers to the amount of time the door will hold back the spread of fire.

A fire door frame with an FD30 fire resistance rating is usually constructed using hardwood or softwood with a density of at least 510kg/m3.

Whereas a fire door frame with an FD60 fire resistance rating will have a density of 650kg/m3 as a minimum.

What Is the Difference Between a Fire Door Frame and a Fire Door Lining?

Before you spend any money, it's important to understand the different components that make up your frame so that you can fit your fire door leaf (the actual door) properly.

When shopping, you need to ensure that you're purchasing both the door frame and the lining, here's the difference:

  • A fire door frame - is the actual wooden 'border' that goes around the sides and top edge of the door leaf.

  • Fire door lining - sits inside the door frame. It consists of two 'styles' and a 'head' which the door leaf then fits into.

There is also a 'door casing' which is similar to a lining.

Fire Door Frame Regulations

While there aren't any legal precedents that require domestic properties to install fire-resisting doors (unless you're renting your property out), you can use interior fire door frame regulations to ensure your installation is operating as well as possible. Here are a few things to consider:

The Gap

Any gap between the frame and leaf must not be wider than 4mm.

This refers to the gap between the floor and the door, and the gap between the frame and the leaf running all around the sides and top of the door.

Maintenance checks

Internal fire doors and frames need to be checked regularly to ensure they will fulfil their purpose should a fire break out in your home.

You should carry out maintenance checks on your fire doors and frames every six months. If your doors are used multiple times in an ordinary day (such as a kitchen door, for example) then we recommend checking them more regularly than that.

You can request an inspection from a registered FDIS inspector (somebody who has been specially trained and holds a diploma that has independently assessed their competence). You can find a local inspector using this tool.

Can You Fit a Fire Door to an Old or Existing Frame?

You may want to install a new fire door (perhaps one with stylish fire-resistant glass or glazed panels) without upgrading the frame.

While there is nothing legally preventing this, we highly recommend you always replace both your door and frame at the same time. There are a few of reasons for this:

  1. The material of the frames may not match the materials used to construct your new fire doors. These need to match.

  2. The frame may not be compatible with the new door.

  3. The door may not be an exact fit with the linings.

  4. If the new fire door has to be trimmed to fit properly within the old frame, it could result in integrity failure of your door leaf.

If you're planning on upgrading your fire doors and not the frames, we recommend you ask a professional to carry out checks to ensure everything will still operate as it should.

What Should the Gap Be between Fire Doors and Frames?

The BWF Fire Door Alliance specifies that the gap between fire door leaves and fire door frames on any internal door must be between 2mm and 4mm on the sides and top edge of the door set.

While homeowners don't legally have to install fire door sets to comply with building regulations, it's a great way to increase the safety of your property and your loved ones.

We recommend fire doors and frames be installed in rooms where there is a chance of a fire breaking out, such as in the kitchen or living room where there is a log burning fire. We also suggest installing these along any escape routes.

With that said, safety doesn't have to mean you aren't spoilt for choice, which is why we stock a wide range of stunning internal fire doors manufactured by well-known and reputable brands, including flush fire doors, oak fire doors and paint grade doors. Every option in this range is a certified fire door. Why not browse our collection and get in touch with any questions?

Articles & Information

Where Are Fire Doors Required in Commercial Buildings?

Ensure safety compliance: Discover where fire doors are required in commercial buildings, ensuring a secure and protected environment.

Domestic Fire Doors and Building Regulations

Peace of mind at home: Understand domestic fire doors and their role in building regulations to prioritise safety within your living space.

Fire Door Frames - All You Need To Know

Frame of safety: Explore all the crucial information about fire door frames, their types, and significance in fire protection.

What Are Intumescent Strips?

Guardians of safety: Learn about intumescent strips and their vital role in fire door protection, expanding to seal gaps in case of fire.

What Are Fire Doors and How Do They Work?

Fire safety explained: Discover what fire doors are and how they work to prevent the spread of fire and protect lives and property.

If you have a question which isn't covered by one of our handy guides, why not drop us an email and we'll be happy to assist.

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