Requirements for Door Hardware on Fire Doors - dormakaba UK & Ireland


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Welcome to our CPD, requirements for door hardware on fire doors.


Overview of Hardware for Fire Doors

This presentation will cover CE marking and door hardware BS EN1154 door closes, approved document B fire safety, requirements for door closes and their application, door closer opening forces, approved document B and other door hardware and RRFSO regulatory reform fire safety order. Dormakaba provides smart and secure access solutions from a single source.


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Our complementary portfolio of products include:

  • Door hardware,
  • Electronic access control and workforce management,
  • Entrance systems for convenient automated building access,
  • Mechanical key systems,
  • Interior glass systems,
  • Safe locks,
  • Lodging systems,
  • Hotel locks and locking systems,
  • Access management solutions for holiday homes,
  • Tailor made services
  • Customised maintenance for the long term functional integrity of all types of access and security solutions.


CE Marking

When choosing hardware for fire doors we have to examine the CE mark. The construction products regulations became law in March 2011. The main changes came into effect on July 1st, 2013. CE marking is now mandatory for all products with a harmonised standard. CE marked products must be accompanied by a declaration of performance provided by the manufacturer.

The CE mark is applicable to all types of fire door hardware: 

  • Hinges BS EN 1935,
  • Emergency exit devices BS EN179,
  • Panic exit devices BS EN1125,
  • Locks BS EN12209,
  • Control door closing devices BS EN1154,
  • Hold open and free swing door closing devices BS EN1155,
  • Door coordinated devices BS EN1158.

Here we see an example of a CE certificate. This certificate details the product and as detailed in the relevant standard, a classification code in respect of the product's essential characteristics.


Door Closers to BS EN 1154

Here we are using a door closer as an example.

The 1st digit deals with angle of operation. This details the angle from which the closing device can close the door. It's quite critical if a door opens to 180 degrees but the class for closer is used. Next is the cycling of the unit, this is 500,000 cycles with an 8 being the only classification used.


The closer's strength and terms of EN sizes are next. This may be from EN 1 less than 750mm wide door, to EN 7 less than 1,600mm wide door. The 4th digit determines suitability for fire doors, this has to be a 1 for fire door use. The 5th digit is for safety, only a 1 can be issued here, Finally corrosion resistance is detailed on the next digit.


Door closers will also have their classification codes detailed on the body along with the CE mark, so you can make sure the product does have the performance characteristics in any documentation. In addition to the CE mark the product must have a declaration of performance or DoP without the DoP the CE mark is invalid. This should be readily available from the manufacturer. The DoP will detail the essential characteristics of the door closer, including specific performance details such as, fire door suitability. This should match the performance rating shown in the CE classification code and the door closer product body itself.


We can see here the first digit "4" for angle of operation, "8" for the cycling of the unit, this is 500,000 cycles. The third part of the code to show the closer strength, in this case 2 to 5. Remember the fourth digit determines suitability for fire/smoke doors and has to be 1 for fire door use, as in this case.


The fifth digit is safety, only a 1 can be issued here. The final digit relating to corrosion resistance is detailed on the next digit.


Approved Document B

Now let's just look at the requirements for approved document B fire safety in terms of door closing devices. It states a self-closing device is a device which is capable of closing the door from any angle and against any latch fitted to the door.


These devices are often seen or considered for use on fire doors as a closing mechanism. They should not be considered as they are incapable of closing the door from any angle over any latch. To close a fire door from any angle over any latch requires a door closer that provides static force, rather than rely on dynamic force. These devices may have fire test evidence to prove that they have been tested on a fire door, however always evidence will always be on latch doors. They do not have sufficient static force to hold a door closer in a fire. Yet these types of products cannot overcome the latch bolt from any angle. Mechanical performance of a product is just as crucial as the fire performance, the two go hand in hand. Using a CE mark door closer and ensures mechanical performance.


Approved Document B - Door Closers

A door closer that is CE marked shows the product is mechanically sound to perform the function of closing a fire door and that it has been subjected to a fire test. To achieve a CE mark the product needs only one fire test to be conducted to BS EN1634-1, the exact details of the fire test conducted must be considered and examined.


Although the product may be fire tested and showing a 1 in the fire safety classification, this does not provide crucial information. What was the test conducted? Timber door or metal door? Latched or unlatched? Closer application? Test duration 30, 60, 90, 120, 180 or 240 minutes?


Approved Document B - Door Closers & Certifire

To provide this information Dormakaba and many other door-closer suppliers, use Certifire certification. This scheme not only details the mechanical performance by detailing the CE classification, but also fire performance.


Here we see an extract from the certificate detailing the suitability of a product, in terms of use on a timber door code ITT, metal doors code IMM / MMM and timber doors with metal frames code ITM.


For classification code is detailed to ensure that the mechanical performance can be aligned with fire performance, note that BS EN1154 requires a minimum of EN3 for use on fire doors, the Certifire will only detail power sizes of EN3 and above.


Door closers have several possibilities in terms of application, pull side they may be door mounted or frame/transom mounted. Additionally, they may be door or frame mounted on the push side. All of these applications will affect both mechanical and fire performance of the door closer. This is why a simple one off test is not sufficient from an application point of view, In addition to the door type and duration of the test.


A Certifire certificate will give peace of mind to the question of timber door, metal door, latched or unlatched, close application, test duration 30, 60, 90, 120, 180 or 240 minutes.


The Certification also details any restrictions, examples of which can be seen here. Typically, uninsulated glass, different product mounting configurations, and whether intumescences are required.


Certifire Approval: Summary

Dormakaba have produced a simple overview of fire door certification approvals to help quickly reference a product suitability for different types of fire door, certification to show what size of the fire door the closer can be mounted and the type of door, whether it is latched or unlatched, timber or metal.


This overview also details the required use of any intumescent to meet the fire certification/performance for different door types.


Approved Document B - Hold-open & Free Swing Devices

Self-closing doors can be an inconvenience to building users. Easy access is often crucial for the function of a building. Hold open and free swing devices enable easy access and remove the barrier for users, as you can see here in this hospital corridor. If ease of access is not considered with manual fire doors, this is what may well happen.


Hold open devices are ideal for circulation routes, these allow easy unhindered passage for users. Doors will close on the activation of the fire alarm or in the event of a power failure if they are linked directly to the fire alarm and mains powered.


Free swing devices are ideal for bedroom doors or any other door where total ease of operation is required, for example for elderly, the infirm or people with disabilities, and the door needs to be fully or partly closed. The door may be left in any position by the user however, again once the alarm is activated or in the event of a power failure the door will close, when the alarm is ringing, or power is down these products will act like a normal door closer. Thus, doors can still be opened but they will close again once the user has passed through.


Operating Forces

Fire doors that are difficult to operate are problematic. They will be wedged open or in an attempt to reduce operating forces, have their self-closing device disabled.


Additionally, doors can get abuse and damage when difficult to operate. Look at these examples where the user has disabled the closer. Fire door regulations focus on door closer closing forces, whereas there are also the ease of access regulations to consider.


To enable access BS8300 and approved document M detail required opening forces for door sets, both of which are linked to the Equality Act 2010.


Opening from 0 to 30 degrees of operation is a maximum of 30 newtons. From 30 to 60 degrees of operation it is a maximum of 22.5 newton opening force. This is for the total door set not just the door closer, hinges seals, latch etcetera and again, check manufacturer certifications to verify the opening force through the opening cycle.


So, problems with operating forces? Concerned that the doors may be wedged open or the door closer is disconnected?


The RRFSO is not retrospective with regards to the products that complied when originally installed, it does not require replacement but a risk assessment where the product could remain in place despite concerns?


The Equality Act is retrospective and thus a replacement can be demanded, resulting in a product that is compliant to today's standards and enables easy access.


The Impact of incorrect hardware selection

Unfortunately, anyone in the design and build industry will only be too aware of some recent building fires that have resulted in the tragic loss of life, due to documented fire door failings. Such as at Rose Park nursing home in 2004, Lakanal house in 2009, the Royal Clarence hotel in 2016 and Grenfell in 2017. A review undertaken by FBIS fire door inspection scheme certified fire door inspectors in 2015, uncovered the extent of fire door failures being seen on site. 63% stated the most common fault was the fire door not closing properly.


Increasing evidence is also coming to light of newly installed fire doors which are not being fitted in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, relevant fire test evidence or even in accordance with industry best practice.


Now we have considered the door closer, let's examine other items of fire door hardware.


Approved Document B - Hinges & Locks

Looking at other fire door set hardware locks and hinges have similar requirements for CE marking and fire certification. They may also carry Certifire certification that details their suitable applications on fire doors.



Locks are often overlooked in respect of fire performance. For fire door keep-locked-doors, these doors do not have door closers to ensure they remain closed in the fire situation. These doors rely on the locks alone. In addition to fire-door-keep-locked-doors other fire doors may also need a latch bolt to prevent distortion of the door during the fire. The latch Bolt and deadbolt should therefore be of a material steel etc that would not melt during a fire and therefore allow the door to distort. The certificate will also detail if and what intumescent should be used for the intended application.



Any fire door with a minimum of three hinges intumescent may be required. Check certification this may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. CE markings of hinges, covers both fire and escape doors. Thus, a hinge test for use solely on escape doors can be CE marked, but not suitable for fire doors. For example, Dormakaba LM hinges are made of aluminium, hence no use on a fire door. This is where checking the fire certificate is crucial.


Approved Document B - Signage

In addition to the hardware, fire doors must be equipped with the correct and relevant signage on both sides of the door, e.g. fire door keep shut or fire door keep locked.


Approved Document B - Means of Escape: Panic Hardware

Approved document B states that the building should be designed and constructed, so there are appropriate means of escape in case of fire. For exit doors specifying the correct emergency escape hardware is essential to ensure the safe egress of building occupants. The type you should select will vary according to the building use and type of occupant.


Panic Hardware - Push Pads

Frequently these push pads can be seen in various buildings such as hotels function rooms etcetera. These products should never be used where members of the public or people unfamiliar with the building are present. These products are only suitable in train staff situations with occupants under 60 people. These should be CE marked to BS EN179.


Panic Hardware - Push Bars

Where a building has untrained occupants or where the trained occupants exceed 60 people, panic devices with either a push bar or touch bar must be used. These must be CE marked to BS EN1125. The standard requires that the active part of the push bar/touch bar must cover at least 60% of the door width.


Panic Hardware - Certifire Approval

Panic hardware is generally fitted to final exit doors. However, in certain areas it may be the case that the doors are fire rated. The same procedure in checking for CE marking and relevant fire certification should be followed as detailed for door closers etc.


RR (FS) O Guidance - Further guidance on hardware for use on fire doors can be found within the various guidance papers for the RR (FS) O and are free to download from the HM government website. To get hands on and look at some of the fire door hardware we have covered today, our mobile showroom is available for product demonstrations and CPD.



In summary: 

  • Remember the importance of CE marking when it comes to the selection of fire door hardware, remember to check the CE classification and the declaration of performance so the characteristics and suitability can be checked.
  • Approved document B requires fire doors to be fitted with a self-closing device, capable of closing the door from any angle over any latch, check the certification for application details.
  • Whilst designing for fire remember to consider ease of access and approved document M.
  • There is plenty of guidance and risk assessment information available, under the regulatory reform fire safety order.
  • Always examine the door hardware manufacturer’s fire test certification, declaration of performance and opening for certification before specifying door hardware.
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