Anyone who has witnessed a fire test will know how any weak points will easily be found in a product’s construction and quickly undermine them to the point where the test is a ‘fail’. That’s why when it comes to fire doors it is essential that the fasteners you use in manufacture and installation are to the required specification and fit for purpose.
Deviating from the product specification or best practice in safety critical products is a risk too far, but as the Hackitt Review revealed, this continues to be a widespread problem across UK construction. Cutting corners or failing to pay attention to the detail in safety critical elements like fire doors could lead to catastrophic consequences, so take a moment to check that the screws you are using are correct.
When you are manufacturing door sets to an enhanced security standard – particularly Secured by Design – you know that they are going to have to be structurally very robust in order to pass the testing. As a result, it is easy to see the connection between using fasteners with a high clamping force and good pull-out strength and a door set that will withstand some pretty forceful simulated attacks in a PAS24 test – which should replicate in real life should the door set ever be attacked by burglars.
But did you know that these same high performance characteristics in the fasteners will also benefit the door set’s ability to pass fire testing?
Adopt a fastener focus
Good quality fixings will retain strength in the attachment throughout the service life of the door, thereby reducing the risk of door elements becoming loose. This can mean that a vulnerable weakness develops over time so the door may not perform as per the fire test should it ever be required to.
Secure attachments will also help maintain the structural integrity of outerframe. This is important in enabling a good seal to be achieved between the door slab and frame, something that is particularly important for smoke resistance – not to mention preventing draughts and optimising thermal performance.
An example of how Rapierstar fasteners can help fire door manufacturers achieve the required performance standards is our specification with the Winkhaus FireFrame fire door sets solution. This a door outerframe system has raised the bar for combined fire, smoke and security performance since it entered the market in 2017, and today it is used by a number of approved fire door manufacturers including Hallmark and Nova Group.
Technical collaboration designed to optimise performance
FireFrame works with 44mm thick timber and composite fire doors, providing a frame constructed from materials that have been successfully used in Europe for over 30 years. Its design allows for multiple glazing options and compatibility with industry leading low thresholds, and because it is a mechanically jointed system, individual frame members can be replaced as necessary.
Our team worked closely with Winkhaus and their customers to develop a fastener specification for use with FireFrame. This includes the screws needed for attaching infill to the outerframe and low thresholds, screws for joint blocks, keep screws and fasteners for frame extensions. It also shows which screws to use when fixing the outerframe to masonry/concrete or timber.
The role that each fastener plays helps to ensure FireFrame deliver and enviable combination of benefits. Using this system, door manufacturers can provide a door set that has Q Mark certification for fire, smoke and security, in line with the guidelines of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).
It means that manufacturing a door set using FireFrame with Rapierstar fasteners will be consistent in respect of how it performs in the event of a fire and under a burglary attack. The end result will exceed the requirements of a 30- or 60-minute fire test and a PAS24 test, which demonstrates enhanced security and compliance with Approved Document Q of the Building Regulations for England and Wales.
If you would like to know more about which fasteners to use with the Winkhaus FireFrame or for any other fire door manufacture or installation, please contact us.
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If you have any questions about fastener design or technical queries about which fasteners to use throughout a PVC-U window or door assembly, we can provide specialist advice to help. Please get in touch using our Contact Us page.