How to create compliant fire doorsets

Mark Alton
Mark Alton

Mark Alton – head of product management at Winkhaus UK discusses the changes to fire doorset legislation and the requirements for a compliant residential fire doorset.

Fire safety and fire door legislation has changed significantly in recent years, with changes impacting every stage and aspect of a fire doorset’s lifecycle, from design and testing to ongoing inspection and maintenance.

The most recent changes include defining the role and responsibilities of responsible persons (RB’s) and accountable persons as covered in the Fire Safety Order (October 2023) and Social Housing acts (April 2024), which completes the sequence of changes identified by the Grenfell enquiry.

For RBs to meet their responsibilities, it’s appropriate to remind specifiers of the initial legislation changes that changed the way fire doorsets are designed, tested and how this test evidence is verified. This critical first stage in a fire doorset’s specification becomes the thread of evidence that must be maintained through the lifecycle of a doorset, the Golden Thread.

Mistakes at this initial stage mean a non-compliant solution will be specified, manufactured, installed, and maintained.

Legislation requirements

The 2019 MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) guideline identified the three critical performances for a fire doorset as Fire, Smoke & Security. The MHCLG guideline, along with the independent review of building regulations and fire safety, also states that these critical performances should be third party audited and certified.

Design and test evidence

These are a specific standards that fire doorsets should be tested against:

  • Fire Performance – EN 1634-1 or BS 476-22
  • Smoke Performance – EN 1634-3 or BS 476-3
  • Enhance Security Performance – PAS24

All Winkhaus fire and smoke testing is caried out using EN 1634 as this is viewed as the more onerous of the two standards.

The importance of smoke

Earlier this year, the Home Office published the latest detailed information on incidents attended by the fire and rescue services, which provides a stark reminder of the importance of smoke as a key performance for a fire doorset. From the recorded fatalities, just over half were overcome by smoke or the combination of burns and overcome by smoke.

As a business we have always tested our fire doorset solutions against all three performances, becoming the first to achieve three separate third party accreditations for these performances and the first to receive this for mirrored smoke performance.

For smoke we are further seeking improvements in the standard as it currently allows for the door threshold to be taped during testing, an inclusion we do not agree with or follow in our own testing, as this blocks a gap at the bottom of the door sealing and hides a potential weakness. All Winkhaus smoke test evidence captures fully assembled doorsets including all hardware and thresholds installed as they will be on site.

Mirrored evidence

To create a compliant scope of accredited solutions, it’s critical to test the range of solutions to the required standards for each of these three key performances, but also that the evidence is mirrored across the proposed range.

It is critical that testing reflects the range of products a fabricator wants in their scope of certification. As an example, if testing is completed for one door design, with identical hardware and fittings, this is the only door that evidence should be used for.

The evidence from these tests cannot be used to show compliance for a new design with different hardware and fittings as there is no evidence to support the performances following these changes, so multiple tests must be carried out in order to build a compliant range of solutions.

In addition to testing our fire doorset solutions against all three performances, each performance now has its own mirrored FoAp (Field of Application) that identifies the design and range of products that are covered.

Third party certification

The introduction of third party certification across the lifecycle of fire doorsets was one of the main requirements of the new legislation. For RBs and tenants, this provides confidence in the information provided and peace of mind that a compliant solution is being specified and installed.

Third party certification schemes bring together the test evidence from these field of applications and consolidates the approved design range within the door manufacturers “Scope of Certification”.

UKAS accredited third party auditing is not just required to verify test data for fire doors, it is a critical requirement throughout the Golden Thread or lifecycle of a fire doorset. Every stage from manufacture, through survey and installation, annual inspection and any remedial maintenance, must be third party audited. All these stages within the Golden Thread refer back to the original design and testing, ensuring the correct components are being used to make or maintain a door.

Why Winkhaus?

Over the past decade, the Winkhaus UK technical team have been involved in the creation and implementation of the latest standards and guidance for fire doorsets. Winkhaus fire doorset solutions are manufactured through our partner network of over 60, third party certified companies. With our partner fabricators, we have one of the largest evidence banks of compliant solutions for both timber and composite internal and external fire doorsets, all independently audited by BM Trada as part of their Q Mark scheme.

This not only ensures our test evidence is always compliant, but always expanding to provide the most comprehensive range of options for all your project requirements.

Winkhaus evidence bank

Our continued investment in testing not only ensures our continued compliance, it provides specifiers with the widest range of solutions to meet all residential and social housing requirements. As an example, our evidence bank now contains over 170 primary fire tests, evidence that was further expanded with the launch of the external composite and timber fire doorset ranges earlier this year.

These external solutions have been third party UKCA certified for fire and smoke, a requirement for external and communal flat entrance doors.

Our range of solutions includes both 30-minute and 60-minute fire doorset solutions, with our internal 30-minute solutions averaging 47 minutes performance, an average over 50% higher than the minimum allowed results and with several tests achieving over an hours performance.

Winkhaus support

Creating compliant fire doorset specifications can be challenging for specifiers, especially with the number and significance of changes in recent years. To support specifiers, we have created a series of checklists to simplify these changes and can further support specifiers in creation of their specifications and training to support their compliance journey.

For further information on how we can help with your specifications, to request copies of our checklists, for information on the new ranges of external timber and composite fire doorset solutions or our expanded ranges of internal timber and composite fire doorset solutions, please visit or email