Passive Fire Protection – The Importance of Fire Doors

The compartmentalisation of a building prevents a fire and dangerous smoke from spreading into additional rooms and floors while allowing crucial time for occupants to evacuate and fire services to tackle the fire.

The principle behind passive fire protection is to divide a building into individual fire compartments.

So, what role do fire doors play in passive fire protection?

An effective passive fire protection product, fire doors fulfil a life-saving role in preventing the spread of smoke and fire for a period of time dependent on their fire classification.

Fire Doors help keep the levels of smoke and toxic gasses contained within the room of origin and prevent fire from moving into escape routes long enough to allow people to escape and for the fire and rescue services to gain access. Fire doors will prevent fire moving into escape routes, and from one room to another.

A fire door is an engineered passive fire protection system formed by its door frame, door leaf, ironmongery, glazing and seals. Each individual fire door components must fulfil its role in order for the fire door to achieve its function of holding back smoke and fire for a specified time period.

Throughout its life a fire door may be only called upon to act as a pedestrian access door but in the event of a fire it must act effectively to:

  • Reduce the damage caused by fire and smoke;
  • Protect evacuation routes;
  • Provide the emergency services with a protected route to access the building; and
  • Protect users of a building who may have difficulty evacuating quickly.


The performance of a fire door can be the difference between life and death and this is why Fire Door Safety Week exists.

The annual Fire Door Safety Week campaign seeks to educate the public on all aspects of fire door safety, from the correct specification and installation through to inspection and maintenance. The campaign’s toolkit has a wealth of resources that empower people to make informed choices, including the 5 Step Fire Door Check – an easy check that anyone can do if they suspect that a fire door is not as it should be.

Get involved with the campaign today by sharing our messages on social media or by pledging your support.