Mar 2021
Identifying Fire Doors - What to Look for?

What Are Fire Doors?

Fire doors are an essential part of every passive fire protection system. The purpose of these doors is to withstand fire, act as a shield and delay the fire spread from one area to another.

Fire door performs two primary functions- When closed, they act as a barrier to block fire from spreading. When opened, they provide a means of easy escape.

How to Identify Fire Doors

According to surveys, nearly 6 out of 10 building managers and homeowners cannot identify a fire door correctly. This scenario is of significant concern because if you cannot specify a fire door, how will you check it for defects and adequately maintain it. Therefore, we at CA Drillers have put together this simple checklist for you, mentioning the key points to consider when identifying a fire door. Read on for more details –

1. Certification

The first and the most reliable way to identify a fire door is to look for its certification label. The certification label usually is affixed to the top edge of the door and mentions the manufacturer’s name, the manufacturing date, and the fire rating. This label indicates that the door manufacturers have followed the third-party accreditations for fire doors.

The two prevalent organizations that provide fire-door ratings are the British Woodworking Federation fire door scheme & the TRADA Q-Mark fire door scheme.

British Woodworking Federation fire door scheme

The British woodworking federation scheme assigns ratings based on minutes and is prefixed by letters’ FD’. E.g., if a door can hold fire for 30 minutes, it will be rated as FD-30. The most frequently assigned integrity levels are –

FD60 – 60 minutes
FD90 – 90 minutes
FD120 – 120 minutes

TRADA Q-Mark fire door scheme

The TRADA woodworking association uses a Q-mark system, in which colored plugs are enclosed to the doors. These plugs indicate the door type, member details, service history, etc.

2. Signage

The simplest way to identify whether your doors are fire-rated or not is to look for appropriate signage. Fire door regulations state that it is mandatory to affix clear signage for fire doors in specific structures such as office buildings or factories. On most doors, you will find instructions like “Fire door,” “Do not open,” “Do not obstruct,” etc. Such signage should be permanently present on the doors; if they fall out, make sure you replace them immediately.

3. Closing Mechanism

When fire doors are closed, they block fire in a single compartment, allowing occupants to exit safely. Hence, their closing mechanism is different from the regular doors. Such doors have a closing mechanism on the top of the door, and they should not stick on the floor or the frame. According to some countries’ building codes, all fire and smoke doors must have an automatic closing mechanism.


The intumescent seals are an essential addition to fire door sets that ensure their efficient performance. When the temperature rises at the time of fire hazards, these seals expand multiple times their original volume and seals the gap around the door edges and joints. That ultimately creates a barrier and stops the passage of fire, smoke, and hot gases through crevices.

Other Things to consider when identifying a fire door

Gaps: For a door to be classified as a ‘fire door,’ the door’s top and side gaps should be less than 4mm thick.

Hinges: There should be at least three hinges in a fire door. Check how many hinges are there in the door and ensure that all the hinges are working correctly.


After reading this article, we hope that you’ll now be able to tell apart a regular door and fire door and make sure whether a fire door is performing its function correctly. Quality fire doors can play an integral part in saving lives and property. CA Drillers specializes in fire door supply and installation. For more information visit our website.

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