The British Woodworking Federation Group
Fire Doors

Fire Doors

The term ‘fire door’ usually refers to a fire door leaf, the main component of a fire door assembly or doorset.

The door leaf is installed into a fire-rated frame, complete with its ‘essential ironmongery’ to make the door perform correctly in the event of a fire.

How is a fire door tested?

The door is tested as a complete assembly or doorset in a test furnace and can only work correctly if installed using the same compatible components as when it was tested.

What is a Fire Doorset?

A doorset is a complete unit consisting of a door frame and a door leaf or leaves, supplied with all essential parts from a single source’.

This means that a fire doorset is supplied as a complete unit from one supplier, so is:

  • Fully fitted up and finished, direct from the manufacturer;
  • Fitted with all compatible components and glazing; and
  • Pre-assembled in the factory.


What is a Fire Door Assembly?

A fire door assembly is a complete assembly as installed, including door frame and one or more leaves, together with its essential hardware supplied from separate sources’.

This means that the components can be sourced from many different manufacturers or suppliers.

Fire Doorsets & Fire Door Assemblies

Download the BWF Fire Door Alliance Fact Card on Fire Doorsets & Fire Door Assemblies

What components should be fitted to a fire door?

A fire door is not just the door leaf. It is a complete assembly comprising the frame, any glazing, intumescent fire and smoke seals and all the ironmongery that is used on the door, such as hinges, overhead door closers, latches and locks.

‘Essential’ Hardware or Ironmongery are those items that are indispensable to the correct performance of the door assembly. (Such as hinges, closers, locks and latches)

Every fire door can only be tested and certificated with all its components in place. They should be third-party certificated to ensure correct performance.

‘Non- essential’ hardware or ironmongery (such as viewers, letterplates) may also be fitted – but they must be correctly installed, in accordance with the door manufacturer’s instructions.

In the event of a fire, a fire door will not work unless all the correct components have been fitted correctly and maintained.

The components must be compatible with the particular fire door assembly with which it has been tested – shown on the fire door manufacturer’s installation instructions.


Download the BWF Fire Door Alliance Fact Card on Ironmongery

What happens if you get it wrong?

Small differences in detail such as glazing apertures, intumescent seals, door frames and ironmongery may significantly affect the performance of the door, as this video shows.



The results of changing the specification or not fitting the correct components could be catastrophic.