We often get asked about installing fire door hinges by our customers, and this blog is intended to answer some of the common queries. We will be talking in relation to FD30 fire doors in this article – that is doors that are designed to restrict the spread of fire for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you want to contact us about FD60/90/120 doors please get in touch!
Firstly, FD30 door hinges should be certified to EN1935 and CE Marked. If these markings aren’t clearly displayed on the hinge leaf, it’s very likely not suitable to be used on a fire door – check with the hinge supplier!
Secondly, most door fire tests stipulate a size of hinge that is suitable – 100mm high, 30-35mm wide hinge leaf and 3mm thick is almost universally the optimum dimension. There are acceptable parameters either side of these dimensions, but if you are wanting to fit say a 125mm high hinge, you should check first if this size is covered under the door’s fire test.
Thirdly, fire door hinges will almost always be made from Steel or Stainless Steel, due to it’s higher melting point than Brass. This doesn’t mean that the finished appearance is like Stainless Steel though – there are many PVD finish coatings that mimic finishes like Polished Brass, Antique Brass, Bronze etc. but don’t impact on the fire rating on the hinge.
Finally, it’s also important that you use the correct gauge and length of screw (as supplied with the hinges). Most fire tests specify a Number 8 or Number 10 wood screw with a minimum of 32mm in length. And it should go without saying that all of the screws must be fitted!
To the right is an image of our HFR014 Ball bearing butt hinge. You can see the CE and BS EN1935 markings clearly displayed on the hinge leaf. This hinge is made from Stainless Steel and suits the dimensional criteria set out above.
Fitting tip: Hinges like the above come complete with steel screws to provide a perfect match with the finish of the hinge leaf. However these can become damaged if the hinge has to be refitted/adjusted a few times in the process of hanging the door. We recommend that you initially fit the hinge with a slightly smaller gauge Reisser (or similar) screw, afterwards swapping these out for the correct Stainless Steel hinge once the install is completed.
It’s important to ensure that the hinges are fitted in the correct positions on the door. When doors are fire tested, the position of the hinges is carefully noted and the fire test assessment will only cover a certain range of hinge positions based on those test positions. Therefore it’s important to check the fire test data for the door before installing any hinges.
For example, BM Trada’s Fire Assessment for Falcon Panel Product’s Strebord 44mm FD30 door core stipulates the following positions;
Top hinge: 120 – 200mm from head of leaf to top of hinge
Bottom hinge: 150 – 300mm from foot of leaf to bottom of hinge
Middle hinge: Centrally between top and bottom hinges OR can be fitted higher than this point, up to a maximum height of 100mm from top hinge.
Another common door leaf is the Halspan Optima 30, where BM Trada’s Fire Assessment stipulates;
Top hinge: 100 – 180mm from the head of the door to top of hinge
Bottom hinge: 150 – 250mm from the foot of the door to bottom of hinge
Middle hinge: Centrally between top and bottom hinges OR min 200mm from top hinge
Another variation is on the Jeld-Wen Tubeboard door core. On this test the datum for the hinge positions is always the centreline of the hinge;
Top hinge – Max 250mm from the top of the door
Bottom hinge – Max 250mm from the bottom of the door
Middle hinge – Positioned centrally between the top and bottom hinge OR max 300mm below the top hinge
You must use 3 hinges for all standard sized fire doors. Where a door is particularly tall (typically 2400mm high or more) you may be required to add a fourth hinge. Again the fire test data should guide you on this.
On a very small number of door cores you are allowed to fit just 2 hinges where the door is very short (e.g. the Strebord 44mm FD30 door can be fitted with just 2 hinges as long as the door is no taller than 1200mm).
For further detail on taller doors, additional hinges etc. please see our separate post. We also discuss the concept of adjusted door weight, the impact of adding door closers, excessive width door leaves and the impact that this has on hinge specification.
We also have a separate post about when you need to add intumescent pads behind the hinge blade and what thickness pads these need to be – essential reading before fitting your fire door hinges!
Please do get in touch if we can help you further with your hinge requirements. We are trade only suppliers to commercial and refurbishment contractors, fire door manufacturers and installers, facilities management and maintenance companies.
Review of this page due November 2022. Please note that advice given is advisory only and to the best of our knowledge at time of writing. We cannot be held responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of actions taken based on this article.
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