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Fire & Life Safety Doors | relcross door controls®

Fire & Life Safety Doors - Overview

Fire Doors and Escape Doors

Fire compartmentation doors are an essential part of a building’s passive fire protection - resisting the spread of fire and smoke whilst protecting escape routes. Fire doors must close in the event of fire and will be equipped with self-closing devices, usually overhead closers. Where this is not the case, fire doors must be kept locked shut. Appropriate signage will indicate the purpose and required status of this type of door. Doors which are kept locked shut must not be on escape routes and will be invariably doors to cupboards, store rooms or similar.

Escape doors provide safe unhindered egress from buildings in the event of an emergency. Escape doors are not always fire compartmentation doors. Where this is the case they should not be referred to as fire doors but as escape doors or emergency exit doors.  All escape doors, irrespective of their location or desired security levels, must be ‘free from fixings’ – i.e. easily openable by all persons without the use of a key.

Planned maintenance routines are essential to the continued safe performance of both fire compartmentation doors
and escape route doors.

Minimum Requirements for Fire and Smoke Resisting Doors

Evidence of Performance

  • Fire and smoke resisting doors & frames must have evidence to demonstrate they resist the spread of fire and/or smoke according to the following test standards:
  • Fire resistance: - either BS 476-22 or EN 1634-1; the integrity performance is stated as a period of minutes, which must be at least equal to the figure demanded by the relevant regulation (see below).
  • Smoke leakage: - either BS 476-31.1 or EN 1634-3.

Evidence may take the form of:

  • A single test report (in which case the evidence relates only to the configuration actually tested);
  • An assessment by a fire test laboratory, based on a range of test reports;
  • Third party certification, based on product sampling, testing and auditing of the manufacturing process.

The test evidence must be applicable to the door & frame assembly actually installed, as relatively minor differences will affect performance.  Correct installation and proper maintenance are vital to ensure doors & frames perform as required. 


Fire compartmentation doors are required to be self-closing, unless they are kept locked shut when not in use. Self-closing for a hinged or pivoted door means the door can close into the frame from any angle.

The following joint publication by the DHF and GAI from 2012 is still relevant.

Code of Practice: Hardware for Fire and Escape Doors 

Minimum Requirements for Escape Doors

Doors on escape routes must be free from fixings – usually in the direction of escape.  Escape doors may be fitted with exit devices incorporating latches or bolts. Exit devices must be operable (without the use of a key) usually in the direction of escape and without the necessity for more than one mechanism to be manipulated.  Doors opening against the direction of escape may be permitted where occupancy is low and users are familiar with the hardware providing escape.  Certain alternative door types, such as automated doors, sliding doors and revolving doors will require specific features not covered here.

The following joint publication by the DHF and GAI from 2012 is still relevant.

Code of Practice: Hardware for Fire and Escape Doors 

Certifire Approval




Certifire is an independent third party certification scheme that assures performance, quality, reliability and traceability of fire protection products. Recognised by regulatory authorities worldwide, it is an internationally respected mark of fire safety and one of the most authoritative in the industry. Many products have Certifire approval - look for the logo adjacent to the product listing.

Warranties & Guarantees


Many relcross door controls® products have extended guarantee periods of up to 30 years. Please refer to individual product pages for specific information.

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