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Fire Door Set or Fire Door Assembly - That is the Question!
There is, it seems, confusion in the fire door market over the different terms and meanings 'fire door set' and fire door assembly'. The more we deal with customer enquiring about fire doors, frames, linings, casings and hardware (ironmongery to some), the more its apparent, there is a lack of understand of the meaning and its implications for certification and the possible legal repercussions, if the wrong products are purchased and installed or more importantly their combination when installed. To clarify things see below:-
Fire Door Set
The definition of a 'fire door set' is where all the products are supplied from a single source and the fire door , frame and its hardware are certified as a single unit, without the need for individual components requiring separate certificates such as the hardware , smoke seals, handles, hinges, self closers, frame and door itself. Its time consuming and frustrating at times to get hold of each individual items certificate, to show it meets the necessary British Standard code of practice or the test evidence. A fire door set also includes for single doors the door being pre-hung in the frame and is delivered ready to install with only the self closer and handles to be added by the installer saving a lot of time on site, but obviously door sets are more costly, however the reduced labour time then required, offsets that extra cost.
Fire Door Assembly
Fire door assemblies on the other hand, are where separate items such as Frames, hardware and fire door, can be purchase from separate suppliers. One of the unknown issues that customer are not aware of, is that each component is certified separately and there is no overall certificate that a responsible persons can turn to, to confirm the door and frame and hardware are compatible with each other. So you can go and buy a cheaper frame from one of the large builders merchants and then unknowingly purchase the door blank from another source and together they are not tested and compatible. So its vital when choosing your frame and door you ensure they are compatible, it should advise on the label on the frame, to which door blank it is compatible. There are a number of fire blank providers in the market place, so be aware that this could be an issue and in fact some building inspector will not 'sign off' a fire door assembly without proof of compatibility or certification.
Unfortunately the tragic loss of life in the Grenfell Tower fire has proven to be a reminder, how fire spreads without correct fire compartmentation in a building, including the vital role fire doors play.