Most myths are born from warped facts, misinformation, or a general misunderstanding about a key issue. This article takes and debunks some of the most common fire door myths. Here are six myths about internal fire doors, along with a few reasons why the myths are wrong.
Myth 1 – Fire Doors Should Not Lock
Some people mistake fire doors and fire escapes. A fire escape is supposed to lock but should be easy to unlock (without a key) from the inside. However, locking fire doors is fine, and necessary in most cases. A fire door’s job is to contain a fire in one area, so having it locked is okay. The lock itself also matters because some locks are unsuitable for fire doors, especially those that break when exposed to heat or pressure.
Myth 2 – Flameproof Paint Makes Your Door a Fire Door
This is not even close to being true. What if your door was made of cardboard. Just how much effect do you think your fireproof paint would have. Fireproof paints are designed to stop the spread of flame over a surface – they are not a fire repellent chemical.
Myth 3 – You Need a Certificate After Your Door is Installed
The myth is that you need a fire inspector to check your door after installation to see if it is up to code. This is a misunderstanding of modern commercial and industrial law. If you install a door in your flats or house, you do not need somebody to check to see if it is up to the level of the law. However, when you buy a fire door, a real fire door will have a certificate to show it is up to manufacturer standards.
Myth 4 – Fire Doors Cause Backdrafts
A backdraft occurs when a fire has burned all the oxygen in the room. A fire needs fuel, heat and oxygen. When the oxygen is depleted, but there is still plenty of burning fuel and plenty of heat, then the fire burns out. However, if oxygen is suddenly reintroduced, an explosion occurs that is known as a backdraft. A fire door may restrict how much oxygen a fire receives, and so may cause backdraft conditions, but a regular door can cause backdraft conditions if it goes unburned. The presence of well-installed doors may help create backdraft conditions, but on the other hand, if oxygen is not re-introduced, then the very same door may help extinguish fires too by helping to starve the fire of oxygen.
Myth 5 – The Seal Between the Door and Frame Must Be Airtight
This is more of a misunderstanding than it is a warped fact. The space between your fire door and door frame must be fairly small because a large gap will allow smoke and fumes to get through too easily. However, the seal between the frame and the door doesn’t have to be airtight. There can be a little bit of space between the door and the frame, it is just that the bigger the space, the less effective the door becomes when it comes to smoke and fumes.
Myth 6 – It is Illegal to Put Furnishings In Front of a Fire Door
You can put furnishings in front of a door, but you shouldn’t. The fire door is less effective when it is exposed to direct flame. When you put furnishings in front of it, they may start flaming during a fire, which will expose the door to direct flame and make it less effective. Plus, what is the point of having a door in the first place if you are going to block it off.