Home Doors Fire Door closers: The legislation

Fire Door closers: The legislation

As lifesaving pieces of equipment fire doors, in particular fire door closers, need to be specified and installed correctly. Here Graham Hulland, Product Marketing Manager at specialist access solutions provider, dormakaba explains the current legislation and how to ensure products are compliant and fit for purpose.

Door closers are a key element in the assembly of fire doors as they ensure the door closes and remains closed during a fire situation. This helps to prevent the spread of flames and smoke, enabling the fire door to work as intended and aid occupant escape.


It is vital to understand the relevant British Standards in order to protect life and prevent fatalities. Door hardware, in particular door closers, play a significant role in enabling the reliable performance of a fire door and can be catastrophic if the specification, or installation isn’t correct. Furthermore, following the standards is a legal requirement that will ensure safety for the occupants of the building within dwellings and non-dwellings.

Approved Document B of the Building Regulations in England and its equivalent standards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, outlines the practical guidance on the requirements of fire safety building regulations which apply to the most common building situations and require fire doors to be fitted with a self-closing device that will fully and reliably close the door from any angle.

To be sure that the products you are installing meet the relevant British Standards look out for products with a CE or UKCA mark. To validate the CE or UKCA mark a Declaration of Performance (DoP) is required. The DoP details the essential characteristics of the product and will be available from any reputable manufacturer.

Identifying the correct door closer for application

Door closing devices must be CE/UKCA Marked to BS EN1154 Controlled Door Closing Devices. (or BS EN1155 for electromagnetic closers and fire door holders) BS EN 1154 classifies the closing device using a six digit code, this provides the classifications for the essential characteristics to which the door closer has been tested against. This includes its category of use, the number of test cycles, test door mass, fire resistance, safety and corrosion resistance, explained below.

  • Digit 1 – Category of use
    • Grade 3: closing doors from at least 105°
    • Grade 4: closing doors from 180°
  • Digit 2 – Number of test cycles
    • Grade 8: 500 000 test cycles, only one test duration is identified for door closer
  • Digit 3 – Door mass
    • Grades 1 – 7: see table 1
  • Digit 4 – Fire Behaviour
    • Grade 0: not suitable for use on fire/smoke doors
    • Grade 1: suitable for use on fire/smoke doors
  • Digit 5 – Safety
    • Grade 1: all door closers must be safe to use, only one grade is identified
  • Digit 6 – Corrosion Resistance
    • Grade 0: no defined corrosion resistance
    • Grade 1: mild resistance
    • Grade 2: moderate resistance
    • Grade 3: high resistance
    • Grade 4: very high resistance
Door Closer power sizeRecommended door leaf width, mmTest door mass, kg
41 10080
51 250100
6 1 400120
71 600160
Table 1

For instance, the dormakaba TS 92 door closer has a BS EN1154 classification code of 4 8 2/4 1 1 3. By matching each digit to the grades above, it is possible to identify that the dormakaba TS 92 can close doors from an angle of 180° and has completed the required 500,000 test cycles. It is also suitable for use on a door with a mass of 80 kg and a recommended door leaf width of 1100mm. This product also offers high resistant to corrosion. To find the appropriate door closer, review the BS EN 1154 digits and reference information available from the manufacturer.

The added mark of safety 

For added safeguarding, it is recommended that only door hardware that has been certified by a third-party scheme is specified for fire doors. This is because the CE or UKCA mark only proves that the device has been fire tested and does not provide details on the suitability for different applications.

A great example is CERTIFIRE, an independent certification body which also covers the mechanical performance (by detailing a products CE or UKCA classification) in addition to the fire performance. For instance, it will indicate whether the device is suitable on timber or metal doors, latched or unlatched, and the fire rating of the door – 30, 60, 90, 120, 180 or 240 minutes.

To help navigate the legalisation and aid specification, dormakaba provides a RIBA accredited CPD on ‘Requirements for Door Hardware on Fire Doors’, which is available to view ‘on demand’ from: https://www.gotostage.com/channel/df19a00e7639452cb79c38f86f408808/recording/0036f94f790c488a89093ac870d22004/watch


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