Apr 20, 2020, 09:06 AM
Fire doors are a major part of the passive fire protection system in a building. While they act as a normal door in every-day use, in case of a fire, they have a very important purpose - to save lives by slowing down the advancement of the fire.
All public, commercial and large residential buildings like offices, hotels, hospitals and blocks of flats must have an adequate fire door system which divides the building into individual fire compartments.
In case of a fire, safety hangs on the hinge. In order for fire doors to work properly, they must be equipped with adequate fire rated door hinges, able to endure the contact with the fire for the minimum of 30 minutes.
How does a fire door work?
Fire doors have three essential elements - the door made of composite materials, the door closer which closes automatically in the event of a fire and fire resistant hinges.
The main purpose of fire doors is to hold back the spread of fire, smoke and heat for a period of time, by cutting off and protecting parts of a building, which allows evacuation of people and reduces overall damage. They provide more reaction time for firefighters to extinguish the fire before it spreads to other parts of the building.
Specifying the correct fire rated door hinge is essential for making sure the fire door functions properly. Since fire doors are much heavier than standard doors, hinges must be able to withstand the weight through frequent use.
Furthermore, automatic door closers significantly increase the wear and tear of the hinges. That's why fire door hinges are designed for endurance.
Finally, when exposed to fire, fire door hinges can withstand extremely high temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius for a specified period of time.
A minimum of 3 fire rated hinges, adequately located and installed must be used on a fire door. When it comes to safety, there should be no compromises. It is very important to use reliable hinges that won’t fail during an emergency, as well as to specify the correct hinge for a fire door.
Specifying the correct hinge for a fire door
Fire door hinges must have the required level of fire resistance when exposed to fire. Different types of fire door hinges can withstand extremely high temperatures for different periods of time. That time is referred to as the Fire door rating.
In order to make sure you choose the right fire rated door hinges to suit the requirements of your fire door, you need to check the fire door ratings. Cooke Brothers hinges marked with the ‘FD’ symbol are Certifire approved as an excellent choice for fire doors. The fire rating can range from 30 minutes to 4 hours, and are indicated on the website as follows:
- FD 30
- FD 60
- FD 90
- FD 120
- FD 240
FD stands for fire door, and the number represents the number of minutes the hinges are rated to protect against fires.
When choosing the correct fire rated hinges for your door, you need to consider several factors including the fire rating of the hinge, the weight of the fire door, traffic in the building as well as the type, material and finish of the hinge. Remember the hinge needs to perform well under normal conditions as well as during a fire, so it is important to specify hinges that are suitable for the environment and traffic they will encounter during normal use.
Some of the best types of fire rated door hinges are Concealed Bearing, Loadmaster and Shrouded Bearing hinges.
Concealed Bearing Hinges are the perfect option for all high-traffic commercial and domestic applications like office buildings and public buildings. They are fire rated from FD 30 for wooden doors up to FD 240 for metal doors, which means that different types of Concealed Bearing Hinges can endure fire from 30 minutes for up to 4 hours.
They are independently tested to 1 million uses and come with the guaranteed performance period of 32 years, making them the reliable high-grade option that won’t fail when it matters the most.
These simple and robust fire rated door hinges are suitable for all types of door closers and able to bear up to 160 kg with up to 100,000 cycles per year, which makes them ideal for all heavy wood or metal doors where heavy traffic is experienced.
Cooke Brothers Concealed Bearing Hinges are available in a variety of metal and finish options to suit a wide range of styles and applications.
Cooke Brothers Loadmaster Architectural Hinges are perfect for commercial buildings like offices, hospitals, schools, shopping centres and all high-traffic environments where a heavier door is required. They are rated FD 60, which means these fire door hinges are guaranteed to endure extremely high temperatures and open flames for a minimum of 60 minutes.
These hinges are made to support up to 160 kg for up to 80,000 cycles per year and come with a 25-year guarantee.
Loadmaster Architectural Hinges are constructed using mild steel, stainless steel or brass. They come in a wide range of finishes including satin polished, nickel, chrome and assorted colour options.
Shrouded Bearing Architectural Hinges are high-performance fire door hinges, ideal for medium-traffic commercial and domestic environments. They come with a 25-year performance guarantee and make an excellent value for money. Rated FD 30 and FD 60, different types of Shrouded Bearing hinges can withstand fire from 30 minutes up to one hour.
Cooke Brothers Shrouded Bearing Architectural Hinges can bear the maximum door weight of 100 kg for up to 60,000 cycles per year. They are suitable for all types of door closers and come in a variety of finishes to suit different styles and environments.
Choosing the right hinge is a major step in constructing a fully functional and reliable fire door that will comply with building fire safety regulations, as well as save lives in case of emergency. For further advice on how to specify the correct hinges for a fire door, talk to our sales team.