Approved documents supporting compliance with the Building Regulations refers to an FD20 Fire Doorset in certain circumstances. This is no longer a commonly tested option with many manufacturers no longer testing to this standard and certification companies not offering 3rd party accreditation for FD20 products. In January this year, The Building Control Alliance took the decision to withdraw Technical Guidance Note 9 – Fire Doors in Dwellings in January 2022. This document set down a deemed to satisfy option that supported the determination of an FD20 based on the following descriptor:
It is still common for an FD30 fire rated door leaf to be installed in a site made frame without the installation of intumescent seals. Whilst this practice may not be directly supported by an appropriate fire test or independent certification, this method of installation has been widely accepted by building control (without objection from DCLG) as providing a sufficient level of protection to escape routes within dwellings.
NHBC has this month published, Technical Guidance note 6.7/19 – FD20 Fire doors (England and Wales) to clarify the situation with FD20 doors. The Guidance asserts:
Where a fire door is required by the building regulations, this includes the complete door assembly, whether assembled on site or delivered as a completed assembly, consisting of the door frame, leaf or leaves, essential hardware, edge seals and glazing, and any integral side panels. Together these components form the fire door, defined as a ‘fire doorset’ within the approved documents England.
Where the building regulations requires a minimum of a FD20 fire doorset and these are not available to purchase, a fire doorset capable of exceeding the minimum requirement should be selected, typically a FD30 fire doorset.
Where a FD30 fire doorset is purchased to meet a building regulation requirement to provide a FD20 fire doorset, the FD30 fire doorset must be installed in strict accordance with the manufacturers guidance to achieve the FD30 fire doorset performance, in order to ensure the minimum FD20 requirement is met.
From the 1st July 2022 NHBC will only accept fire doorsets which meet the requirements of the building regulations. Separate door frames and doors which have not been tested together will not be acceptable.