A blog by Ahmarra... Ahmarra specialise in manufacturing and installing fire doors for healthcare facilities such as hospitals, health centres and care homes. Hospital fire doors often have a unique set of design requirements, such as, certified fire protection, enhanced durability, accessibility, acoustic performance and in some cases, wayfinding features.
Protecting vulnerable patients during a fire outbreak is paramount. Many of them will be incapacitated, so it is vital that doors prevent fire and smoke from spreading for the designated time, maximising the time staff have to help with safe evacuation of patients and sufficient time for fire-fighters to prevent the loss of expensive buildings and equipment. Hospital fire doors may therefore require a higher fire-rating, such as FD60 (60 minutes burn time) or FD90 (90 minutes burn time). These times represent the time a door is anticipated and tested to withstand a fully engulfed fire situation.
Primary Fire Test Evidence
Ahmarra have invested in their own fire testing for the FD60 hospital doorset range. This product includes full PVC impact protection plates and replaceable wrap-around PVC edge protection on both the hanging and leading edges. This doorset has been tested in what is considered to be the most onerous scenario i.e. FD60, glazed, unequal pair, opening towards the fire attack direction.
In a busy healthcare environment that operates 24/7, internal acoustic doors play a vital part in preventing noise passing from one ward to another, improving the patient experience and creating an environment that supports a restful recovery. Acoustic-rated doors have been designed to provide a specific level of noise reduction, be that for patient confidentiality outside consulting rooms for example or to reduce noise from corridors on single bed wards. Sound resistance is achieved through a combination of specifically engineered door cores and heavy-duty seals.
To safeguard patients from infection and promote a sanitary environment, Ahmarra’s healthcare doorsets offer the option of impact protection sheets for their hospital door facings. This impact resistant PVC material is 2mm thick, available in a range of colours, withstands the cleaning regime in the modern healthcare environment and incorporates antibacterial properties throughout its construction (not just a surface coating). Ahmarra even have secret-fix PVC clad frames, stops and architrave to compliment the door which can be specified to match or contrast with the door leaf.
Doors must be robust enough to withstand the demands of this heavy footfall environment and the potential damage caused by moving trolleys and beds from ward to ward. Installing severe-duty doors reduces damage and therefore maintenance costs, ultimately providing longevity and better value for money. For added protection, Ahmarra offer fully PVC wrapped doorsets including impact protection sheets.
Accessibility & Wayfinding
Providing equal access for disabled people is a necessity in public building design, and even more so in a healthcare environment. For those who are visually impaired, this requires adequate visual contrast between building surfaces and their surrounding areas, which can be measured using the light reflectance value (LVR) scale. In order to achieve this contrast, coloured laminates and PVC facings can be used to differentiate between doors, frames and ironmongery.
As larger hospitals can be notoriously difficult to navigate, colour coded doors can also be used as part of a wayfinding system, such is the case at Worthing Hospital.
Fire Door Installation
Ahmarra offer a fully Q-Mark certified fire door installation service throughout London and the South. Their installation team manage and co-ordinate every project and fully appreciate that installing doors in a working hospital environment means that they need to keep disruption and noise to an absolute minimum. This often requires removal of existing doors and fitting new doors overnight, whilst ensuring installations are completed on time.