Fire doors are very effective at retaining fire for a period of time, and smoke seals fill their weak point, which is the space between the door and frame to ensure an airtight seal. Fire and smoke will travel through any gap to the air beyond, so it is important that fire doors have an effective seal at all times.
The best way to ensure you have a seal at all times is to install intumescent strips with fire and smoke seals on fire doors.
The intumescent seals are fitted to the top and sides of a door and in the event of a fire the intumescent material inside will expand and seal the gaps between the door and frame. This provides an effective barricade so flames cannot pass through. By the same token, the smoke seal prevents smoke from passing around the door in the initial stages of the fire.
They give a flame-tight seal for up to 60 minutes depending on the size. That gives you (and the firefighters) up to an hour of flame-free escape time, invaluable extra time for any premises.
How To Install
Most new fire doors will come with pre-routed grooves to fit the intumescent strips into. If your door does not already have grooves you will need a router and the router bit must match the size of the strip you are fitting.
Cut the strip to the desired length to match the height of the door. Most intumescent strips have a self-adhesive backing so peel off the paper on the back and push the strip into the groove firmly to secure it. Make sure the groove is free of dust, dirt or grease before inserting the strip into the groove.
A fire door should be self-closing with the aid of a door closer. You may find you have to adjust the door closer to make sure it fully shuts now the strip has been fitted.
Types Of Intumescent Strip With A Smoke Seal
- Fire and smoke seals: keeping a smoke-free environment, thanks to the nylon pile that stops smoke from entering the door frame gap before the intumescent seal forms. Another common name is cold smoke seals.
- Fire, smoke and draught seals: offer the highest levels of protection possible, with a single or double rubber blade in place of the nylon. Thgivesive a better ‘everyday’ seal and these fire and smoke seals give that reassuring, air-tight ‘whoosh’ sound as you exit a fire door on a day to day basis.
- Hygienic seals: also called quad seals, can be wiped clean and also provide an acoustic barrier to prevent sound travelling from room to room, ideal for hospitals, residential care and kitchens.
A Note About Fire Doors
Fire and smoke seals can be fitted onto a normal door, however, it should be mentioned that this does not make it a functional fire door. Factors such as door thickness and the material it’s made of are some of the prerequisites that determine a legally sound fire door.