What standards should be met by fire doors in public buildings?

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People managing and administering an institution are obliged to ensure high level of fire safety in public buildings. Designing an effective fire protection system is a great challenge. Fire doors which are supposed to meet the requirements of specific standards make important elements of such a system.

What building structures can be classified as public buildings?

Pursuant to the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure on technical conditions to be met by buildings and their locations of 17 July 2015 (consolidated text after amendments) a public building is a building intended for the purposes of public administration, justice, culture, religious worshipping, education, tertiary education, learning, education, health care, social care, banking services, trade, catering, services including post and telecommunication, tourism, sports, passenger service in railway, road, air, marine and inland transport and any other buildings intended to perform similar functions; an office or social building is also considered as a public building.  It means that public buildings first and foremost include cinemas, shopping malls, theatres, concert and sports halls and buildings with high human traffic, i.e. railway stations and airports.

Fire doors - standards and requirements

Fire doors have several functions. Once they are closed and the fire starts, they become a fire barrier. On a daily basis they prevent unauthorised access. Once opened, they facilitate immediate escape. Fire doors must meet the requirements of several essential standards. First and foremost, their size needs to be appropriate and determined by the estimated number of people to be evacuated. If the estimated number of people to be evacuated exceeds 300, fire doors must be featured with a panic bar. The arrangement of fire doors is equally important - they should be mounted in any room where humans can stay. It is necessary to ensure quick and efficient evacuation. One should remember that all rooms with entrances from the main production floor in production facilities have to be provided with fire partitions.

Fire resistance of the doors is of high importance, too. There is a relationship according to which the fire resistance class of fire doors is assumed as a half of a fire resistance of a wall. The fire resistance of a wall is identified in technical conditions. Fire resistance classes of fire doors should range between EI 30 and EI 120.  Such doors should be provided with certified self-closing devices which will automatically close any openings if fire starts.

Other technical conditions

People responsible for designing of fire protection systems need to remember that revolving doors and lift up doors mustn’t be used for evacuation purposes. It is admissible to install sliding doors but only if they have a specific construction (they must be opened automatically and manually, it mustn’t have a lock and when a smoke detection system signals a fire, the doors should automatically slide open and remain in that position).

People in charge of fire protection should first and foremost make sure that the doors are always kept and maintained in a good condition. It means the doors need to be serviced regularly. Besides providing customers with top quality products, ASSA ABLOY Mercor Doors offers professional and comprehensive service to maintain proper functioning of fire partitions. The benefits of such cooperation include regular access to technical resources, professional advice and quick response to any equipment failures.