How Fire Safe are your X-ray Doors?

Ensuring Fire Safety in X-ray Doors: Understanding Fire Ratings for Fire-Rated Lead Lined Door Sets

Lead-lined doorsets are commonly used in healthcare facilities and industrial settings to protect against ionising radiation. While these door-sets are essential for protecting against radiation, it is also important to consider their fire safety. In the event of a fire, lead lined doorsets must meet certain safety standards to ensure that they do not become a hazard themselves.

With large numbers of people and pets visiting hospitals and veterinary practices every day in the UK, fire safety is always a concern. Worryingly, investigations after the Grenfell Tower fire exposed the presence of flammable cladding in NHS hospitals. Data also revealed that there were 1,701 and 1,462 fires in all NHS trusts in 2015/16 and 2016/17 alone. One simple way of slowing the spread of fire and smoke is to install effective lead lined doors.

How fire safe are your X-ray doors? - Raybloc X-Ray Protection

What do Fire-Safe Radiation Protection Door Sets Look Like?

While the main purpose of radiation-protective door sets is to protect patients and staff from radiation exposure, investing in high-quality fire-tested doors can contain an outbreak in a certain area for longer. This gives patients, staff and pets the chance to vacate the building.

A good benchmark for fire burn time is around 30 minutes. Any radiation shielding door set that doesn’t go beyond the half-hour mark is a potential hazard. According to the Architectural and Specialist Door Manufacturers Association (ASDMA), a good fire door is described as:

“A complete installed door assembly comprising doorframe, door leaves, other panels, hardware, seals, and any glazing that when closed is intended to resist the passage of fire and smoke in accordance with specified performance criteria. A fire door = a complete installed assembly.”

Understanding Fire Safety in X-ray Doorsets

In recent years, fire safety has become a major concern in the UK. Just like any regular door, investing in high-quality lead lined doors can help slow the spread of fire and smoke, giving people the chance to evacuate safely. Fire-rated doors are classified according to their ability to resist fire and must meet specific fire-rating standards. In addition to fire ratings, the materials used in door frames, core materials, and facing materials are also important considerations. Proper installation and regular maintenance are crucial for ensuring ongoing fire safety.

At Raybloc, we have developed a new type of door that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also promotes a clean room environment. Our radiation-protective doorsets can feature flush inset warning lights and flush vision panels, making the door leaf completely edgeless. Both of our doors exceeded the burn time of 30 minutes and were stopped at 36 minutes, with the fire integrity of the doors remaining in place after completion. If you’re unsure of whether your current doors meet fire safety expectations or not, get in contact with us today, and we can help determine the right complete door solution for your radiation department.

X-ray Door and Door Set Fire Rating Systems

Fire ratings are a measure of a doorset’s ability to resist fire and prevent its spread. Fire-rated doors are classified according to the amount of time they can withstand exposure to fire before failure. In the UK, fire-rated doors are tested and certified by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) or the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). Lead protection doorsets must meet the same fire rating standards as regular doors.

Best Practices for Ensuring Fire Safety in Lead-Lined Doors

Materials

The materials used within doors can severely affect fire safety. The door frame, core material, and facing material are all important factors to consider. The door frame must be made of fire-resistant material, such as steel or hardwood. The core material must also be fire-resistant, with mineral wool or vermiculite being common choices. The facing material can be a fire-retardant material, such as plywood or MDF. Raybloc doorsets are comprised of door leaves hinged to hardwood frames, and architraves to suit, each of which is concealed with lead to provide a complete shielding barrier up to the wall – adjusted suitably depending on your fire rating requirements. The door leaves are available in primer painted, laminate, veneer, and PVC encapsulation regardless of your fire requirements.

Installation

Proper installation is crucial for ensuring the fire safety of fire resistant doors. The doorset must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in compliance with relevant building codes and regulations. In addition, the gap between the door frame and the surrounding wall must be filled with a fire-resistant sealant to prevent the spread of fire.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance is important for ensuring the ongoing fire safety of lead protection doorsets. The doorset should be inspected annually by a qualified technician to ensure that it is still in compliance with relevant safety standards. Any damage or wear should be repaired immediately, and the doorset should be resealed if necessary.

How fire safe are your X-ray doors? - Raybloc X-Ray Protection

Manufacture and Fire Testing of Bespoke Lead Lined X-ray Door Sets

Back in 2017, fire tests for our FD30 lead-lined X-ray doors at Raybloc were carried out, with our standard doors reaching a staggering burn time of over 55 minutes. Since then, the processes and material specifications of our fire-rated door sets have remained consistent to ensure our fire-tested doors continued to excel in fire-related performance.

As of last month, we’ve developed a new type of door that’s not only aesthetically pleasing but promotes a cleaner room environment than a standard door too. Our X-ray protective door sets can feature flush inset warning lights and flush vision panels, making the door leaf completely edgeless. With minimal surface area, they’re easy to clean and less likely to gather dust traps and dirt as well.

The doors that were fire-tested three years ago were our standard door sets. The door leaves on these didn’t have vision panels or feature our bespoke flush-mounted warning lights. All fire testing for our newer, more hygienic X-ray protective door sets was carried out in late August by Warrington Fire. This included one door set featuring the flush vision panels and the other with the flush-mounted warning lights.

Both door sets exceeded the burn time of 30 minutes and were stopped at 36 minutes, with the fire integrity of the doors remaining in place after completion. This is positive news for hospitals and practices looking to promote a safer, more hygienic and fire-safe environment for everyone.

If you’re unsure of whether your current X-ray doors meet fire safety expectations or not, get in touch with us today. At Raybloc, we can help determine the right solution for your radiation department.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, radiation-protective doorsets are an important component of radiation protection in healthcare facilities and industrial settings. However, it is also crucial to consider their fire safety. By understanding fire ratings, choosing the right materials, installing the doorset properly, and maintaining it regularly, you can ensure that your X-ray protection doorset meets all relevant safety standards and does not become a hazard in the event of a fire. Fortunately, Raybloc can do most of the hard work for you, with the services available to manufacture and install none fire and fire-rated doors alike. If you would like the complete package provided by Raybloc (X-ray Protection) Ltd, contact us via e-mail or phone and we will get you a quotation back for your work within 24 hours.

FAQs

How thick is a fire-safe X-ray door?

Raybloc’s FD30 lead-lined doors are manufactured using a 44mm solid core with a 6mm MDF face. This will be in addition to your lead thickness, dictated by an RPA (radiation protection advisor). For example, a code 5 door will have 2.24mm of lead within the door leaf, meaning the door leaf of your doorset will be approximately 52mm thick. Our FD60 lead lined doors use a 54mm solid core instead of the standard 44 mm. A code 5 FD60 door would be approximately 62mm thick.

How high of a temperature can a fire-resistant X-ray door endure?

The furnaces used in the testing of our doors reached temperatures over 800°C, whilst the FD30 doorsets prevented the passage of fire for 36 minutes. The FD60 doorsets withstood the same furnace fire for 62 minutes.

What is the cost of a fire-resistant X-ray door?

There are many factors that affect the cost of a fire-rated leaded doorset such as ironmongery, lead equivalence and desired finish. A single, FD30 code 3 doorset starts at approximately £3,500 + VAT.

Is investing in a fire-resistant X-ray door a wise decision?

Not only is the prevention of fire through a building a smart idea, but it is often also mandatory. Cutting corners with fire safety could potentially risk lives in the incident of a fire, so make sure your lead-lined door packages come from an experienced supplier that has the test evidence to support the specification of your door.

Are Radiation Shielded Doors Fire Resistant?

Just like standard doors, lead lined doors are available from Raybloc in NFR (None Fire Rated), FD30 and FD60 to suit your specified requirements. Test evidence can be provided upon request.

Are Raybloc Doorsets Fire-Rated?

Raybloc manufacture and install FD30 and FD60 lead-lined doors and can provide test evidence to show the burn times of single and double fire-rated doorsets based on our fire-integrally weakest specifications (flush-mounted vision panels and flush-mounted warning lights).

To find out more about our X-ray door sets, download our eBook today.

Lead Lined Wall Panelling

Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives.

Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email enquiries@raybloc.co.uk

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