Choosing the Perfect Hinge: Sizing Up for a Secure 44mm Fire Door

Unlike normal internal doors, fire doors are made of durable materials like wood, reinforced steel, and fibreglass to withstand high levels of heat and pressure for up to 60 minutes in some cases. To effectively contain a fire and increase the safety of any building, a fire door should be installed with a maximum 3mm gap between the door and frame. 

Fire door hinges are essential for making that possible, and a minimum of three fire door fittings should be used with each fire door. It’s also important to use the right size of hinge for each fire door installation. Standard fire door hinge sizes include 102x76mm and a slimmer 102x67mm. The right dimensions will vary depending on things like the width, height, and weight of the fire door in question. 

In this article, we’ll consider what size hinges you will need to safely install a 44mm fire door. 

White wooden door


Understanding Fire Door Specifications

The ‘right’ hinge size is entirely dependent on fire door specifications. But, what are those specifications, and how do they affect the size of hinges that you’ll need? 

To some extent, fire door specifications will vary depending on everything from the materials used to the size of your doorway. There are, however, two primary fire door specifications that can help you to begin choosing the right fire safety hardware, and they are – 

  • FD30: FD30 fire doors are designed to withstand the heat of a fire for thirty minutes. These doors must be 44mm certified core and should meet standards set by the BSI, including the use of intumescent strips in either the core or frame, as well as having certified glazing. 
  • FD60: FD60 fire doors are designed to withstand the heat of a fire for sixty minutes. These should have a 54mm certified core, intumescent strips in the core or frame, and certified glazing.

You’ll typically find FD60 fire doors in large buildings such as hospitals and factories. In most instances, residential and even most commercial fire doors, are designed to an FD30, 44mm specification. In either instance, the correct hinge size can contribute significantly to a fire door's performance by ensuring easy, unobstructed opening, and the general durability of fire safety hardware.

Recommended Hinge Sizings for 44mm Fire Doors

Certified core width is a key element when choosing hinge sizes for any fire door, and will have a huge impact on things like the security of your fire door, and the durability of your hinges in general. For 44mm FD30 fire doors, preferred hinge dimensions should range around 30-35mm wide, 100mm high, and 3mm thick. You should then secure your hinges with a number 8 or number 10 screw that’s a minimum of 32mm long, and use an average of three hinges altogether. This ensures that there will be no more than the specified 3mm gap between your fire door and frame and that your fire door opens and closes without friction. 

There are also a few variables to consider before you invest in this size hinge. That’s because these averages are calculated depending on FD30 doors that are typically made from hardwood materials. Heavier fire doors, such as those made from reinforced steel, may require four smaller hinges for support. In this instance, seek hinge sizes that allow you to leave no more than 120-180mm down from the head of the leaf to the top of the hinge, and no more than 200-250mm up from the foot of the leaf to the bottom on the hinge.

Types of Hinges Suitable for 44mm Fire Doors

Jedo Stainless Steel Grade 13 Fire Door Ball Bearing Hinges

While all fire door hinges should include a CE mark and a visible fire identification stamp, there are a few different types of hinges which are suitable for 44mm fire doors. The most commonly used of those include – 

  • Ball-bearing hinges: Ball-bearing hinges like this Jedo stainless steel ball-bearing are by far the most commonly used hinges on 44mm fire doors. This is because using two ball bearings in the knuckles of these hinges can improve durability thanks to reduced hinge friction and general wear and tear. Ball bearings are also typically made of high-grade stainless steel, which is oxidation-resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. 
  • Lift-off door hinges: Lift-off door hinges are sometimes used for emergencies because they allow you to remove a door from its hinges without the need to unscrew anything. This can be great for rescue purposes in a fire and is a generally viable option for 44mm fire doors. However, you will want to consider the weight of your door before installing lift-off hinges. 
  • Butt hinges: Butt hinges are composed of two identical hinge leaves which are designed to hold heavy weights, including fire doors made from materials such as steel, wood, and fibreglass. Ball-bearing butt hinges are most commonly used for fire doors, while fire-rated butt hinges are designed to minimise warping in even a heavy fire door. 

Installation Guidelines for Hinges on 44mm Fire Doors

As well as choosing the right size of hinge for your 44mm fire door, you need to ensure proper hinge installation. Installation guidelines worth considering include –

  • Choose the right number of fire door hinges:

Measure to allow for your top hinge to be 120-180mm from the top of your door, and your bottom hinge to be 200-250mm from the foot of your door. Your other hinges should then be spaced so that they’re no more than 200-250mm below your top hinge. Choose the right number of door hinges based on this.
  • Prepare to install your hinges:

You’ll need to attach the hinge leaf with two knuckles to your door, and the hinge leaf with three knuckles to your door frame. Mark both locations and use a router to cut out a grove where the hinge will sit.
  • Insert your screws:

You must fit fire door hinges with manufacturer-recommended steel screws that are typically around 32mm long for a 44mm fire door. Insert screws across all three hinges at the same time, and only tighten them once you’ve ensured that you’ve achieved the correct size of the gap between door and frame and that your hinges open smoothly. 

Fire exit

Find the Right Hinges for Your 44mm Fire Door

Installing an FD30 44mm fire door in your home or business will help to protect your property and the health of everyone within it. But, you can only enjoy that protection by choosing the right size hinges to guarantee the usability, durability, and effectiveness of your fire door on the whole. Our collection of fire door fittings includes stainless steel ball-bearing hinges in a range of sizes to suit your needs. So, start browsing today to ensure a safer future. 

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