Upgrading timber joinery doors for fire resistance

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This Wood Information Sheet gives guidance on assessing the suitability of existing doors for upgrading to give a 20 or 30 minutes' fire resistance comparable with that of purpose-made fire doors. Upgrading to 60 minutes' performance will rarely be possible.


Upgrading the fire resistance of existing doors is a common requirement in heritage buildings. Conservators look for solutions with minimal impact on the appearance and function of existing doors.


The requirements for fire doors are quite complex, therefore it is recommended to read TRADA's WIS Performance of fire-resisting timber doorsets which explains the principles.



  • Strategy to upgrade for fire resistance
  • Suitability of existing doors for upgrading
  • Methods of upgrading
  • Identifying upgraded fire doors


This Wood Information Sheet was reviewed in January 2020 and amendments were made to reflect changes in regulation. These changes include more detail on:

  • assessments
  • charring rates
  • frame construction, specification and condition,
  • spread of smoke
  • glazing
  • materials (hardwood or softwood)
  • lock dimensions
  • upgrade techniques
  • panels
  • hardware.

Suggested Reading

Passive fire protectionnavigation-arrow

Chiltern International Fire's Product Assessor Simon Bailey discusses the role of passive fire protection (PFP) products, in the context of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, and emphasises the need for correct installation to ensure performance and life safety.

Article from the TRADA Timber Industry Yearbook 2012

01/01/2012 |  Magazine Article  

Limiting fire and smoke spreadnavigation-arrow

BM TRADA Product Assessor Simon Bailey highlights the importance of understanding fire and smoke control within buildings.

Article from the TRADA Timber Industry Yearbook 2015

01/01/2015 |  Magazine Article  

Fire Door Safety Week: why fire door safety can't be left to chancenavigation-arrow

With fire safety under the spotlight, and strengthening of legislation through the Fire Safety Bill and the Building Safely Bill, Fire Door Safety Week will once again help to educate on the importance of fire door safety. Helen Hewitt reflects on why there is still a need for the national Fire...

06/10/2021 |  Magazine Article