Fire safety is one of the most important and definitely also one of the most common topics in the development of buildings. Every building is subject to a certain level of fire risk and this risk must be limited. Should a fire break out despite this, the development and spreading of fire and smoke should be sufficiently limited. You can do so by using non-combustible or fire-retardant materials that comply with the relevant standards.
Regulations and legislation for fire doors
The EU is constantly stepping up its efforts to create uniformity in rules. Standards regarding fire safety have by now also been developed on a European level. For doors this is EN1634-1. Every Member State of the European Union must integrate this standard in their own standard.
The European standard EN1634-1
The EN1634-1 standard applies to all EU Member States. This standard describes exactly how and under which conditions a door should be tested.
The actual fire-safety test may only be performed by a Notified Body, which must be affiliated to EGOLF as a member. Additionally, the physical fire-safety test must always be performed with a complete door structure as it is applied in practice.
A test report is drawn up after the fire-safety test. The test report and the fire-safety test are used to determine the performance classification met by the door according to EN13501-2.
The classification is stated on the official certificate, which is issued if the door meets all the requirements. It is then referred to as a door tested and certified in accordance with NEN-EN-1634-1.
What is the EI requirement?
There are various fire resistance classifications within the European standard. The classification is stated on the door’s official certificate and depends on the performance of the door. All classifications and the associated fire resistance performance are described in the European standard EN13501-2. The EI classification is part of this series of classifications and can only be demonstrated by means of a (full scale) fire-safety test.
The requirements for the EI classification are related to thermal insulation. The temperature on the heated side of the fire-resistant door can become as high as 1000 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature on the non-heated side of the fire door, which is measured by several thermocouples, must not exceed an average of 140 degrees Celsius. In addition, each of the thermocouples must not exceed a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius.
In many European countries this requirement applies in public spaces, due to the heat transferred during the fire behind the fire door. By blocking the thermal radiation, the various escape routes are not blocked by the heat. This is why it is important that the doors comply with the EI requirement.
The EI requirement can be subdivided into 2 different classifications:
- EI1, the thermocouple measures the temperature in the room, at a distance of 25 mm from the frame
- EI2, the thermocouple measures the temperature in the room, at a distance of 100 mm from the frame
EI1 is the highest achievable classification for doors.
Self-closing in case of fire detection
Does the door actually close in case of a fire alarm triggered by the fire control panel (FCP) or by local smoke and temperature detectors, and is this also guaranteed if no power supply is present? To ensure this, various solutions are possible in fire doors:
- The power supply must be guaranteed by connecting the fire door to the emergency power circuit
- Gravity Fail Safe (GFS): controlled closing of the fire door by means of its own weight
- Electrical Fail Safe (EFS): making the door self-closing by means of a battery pack