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The lock is often seen as the most secure part of the door. In many scenarios this is generally true, in that when the door is locked it keeps whatever’s behind it safe. When it comes to fire protection though, the lock can easily become the weakest element. 

 

How Can Ironmongery Compromise A Fire Door's Integrity?

Fire door handles and locks are compromised when the lock itself is damaged, wears over time, or is changed without adhering to the original fire safety specifications. 

Here’s a few examples of how this can easily happen:

Break-ins: In the event of a break-in, our first thoughts are to get the locks changed as quickly as possible without fire protection ever crossing our mind. Depending on the locksmith you choose, fire safety may never even be questioned in the process.

Interior Design: When giving a building a makeover, changing the look of door handles and locks to fit in with the new design rarely leads to conversations around fire safety. If the workplace safety team aren’t involved in the process or assume that designers will take care of it, you many end up with a beautiful but unsafe work environment.

Wear & Tear: Damage to a fire door handle in a corporate building can take longer than expected to get repaired or replaced. Reporting the incident internally, then to the landlord, organising for the repair/replacement to happen, sorting out costs and more. This demonstrates how easily the process can get delayed and take much longer to fix than intended. Meanwhile, the safety of the door and those who work in the building is jeopardised.

 

How Can You Maintain Your Fire Door's Ironmongery?

When repairing or replacing a door lock, also replace its fire protection. An Intumescent Lock Kit can provide your door with a minimum of 30 minutes of fire protection when fitted correctly (this can be done yourself but if you’re unsure, call your local carpenter). Norseal Intumescent Lock Kits can be cut to size to fit any door lock, no matter the design or dimensions. With so many different shaped locks out there it can be a nightmare trying to find the exact intumescent lock kit for your door. Having the intumescent material cut to size is the perfect solution, especially when you’re dealing with multiple doors with different sized locks from a range of manufacturers. 

The two types of intumescent lock kits available are interdens and graphite.

 

Interdens vs Graphite

Interdens is a low pressure intumescent material suitable for the protection of door hardware and ironmongery. Interdens lock kits come in 1mm thickness and intumesce (expand to protect the lock and insulate it from fire) at approx 180ºC. In the event of a fire they can expand to 40 times their original size. Installation is quick and simple as the lock kit comes with a self adhesive backing making it easy to fit.

Graphite lock kits are available in several different thicknesses including 0.5mm, 1mm and 1.8mm. Graphite is a rapid expanding intumescent material and is ideal for damp environments. Similar to the interdens lock kits, graphite lock kits also have self-adhesive backing for quick and easy installation.

 

If you need help sourcing the right intumescent lock kits for your project, why not give us a call? Our fire safety experts are happy to talk you through the different options and help you choose the best one for you.

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