Best practice internal doors

Issue date December 2016


Do not


Chipboard core doors are not to be used.

Thumb turns
Thumb turns should not be used to final exit doors.



Minimum standard  
To be robust, durable and appropriate to the type of use they are likely to receive. This is particularly important in the foundation stage areas of schools where heavy doors with strong closers make it difficult for the young children to move about freely.

Door finishes
When carrying out alterations and extensions new doors should match wherever possible the finish to the majority of existing doors. Consider the replacement of existing doors that do not match the majority as part of the scheme where funds allow.
Good quality veneer finish is preferred to new build schemes where funds allow.

Fire protection
The addition of closers, fire resisting glazing and smoke seals is only to be incorporated when required within Approved Document B/Building Bulletin 100 for fire compartmentation purposes.

Disabled persons access
See Equality and inclusive design

Door handles
Where door catches are specified lever style door handles with returns should be fitted.
Where push plates and 'D' type pull handle on the pull side of the door is adopted, a steel roller ball to locate the door firmly when closed is to be included.

Must be durable, robust and suitable for easy operation by the relevant building users. The design must prevent inadvertent locking.

Ball catches
The use of ball catches on internal doors with door closers has worked well on previous schemes.

Door closers
Ensure that the strength of the closer is appropriate for the weight of the door

Finger trapping
Care must be taken in the selection and siting of doors to reduce the risk of finger trapping
Doors to store cupboards that open outwards into a classroom greatly reduce the risk of finger trapping. However doors that are sited close to corners greatly increase the risk of finger trapping). See Finger Trapping to DO/ENSURE section below
Consider the use of Lorient or similar approved finger guards when retrofitting to existing doors.

Must be considered for doors on busy routes.

Shutters for kitchens, serveries etc

The use of shutters to production kitchens and serveries in schools are to be discussed with Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Landlord (OCCCL) see Kitchens

Consider acoustic properties for shutters between production kitchens and adjoining room.
In some cases electrically operated roller shutters may not be required and foldback shutters may be preferable e.g. tea bars in Day Centres Tea bars in Days Centres.

Where roller shutters are to be used, ensure fail safe safety devices are fitted to avoid trapping of arms etc when the roller shutter closes quickly in fire mode

Do / ensure


Finger trapping
Rounded edge anti finger trap pivot doorsets (Leaderflush Sentinel, Pivotan, John Porter or similar approved) are to be used for all internal doors where young children or vulnerable adults will be present e.g. primary schools, special schools, adult mental health centres, elderly persons day centres. This type of door is not normally required for secondary school projects although they should be considered in areas where special school pupils will access secondary school facilities. The service providers specification must be based on a risk assessment of the intended use of the property.

Kicking plates
To be fitted to the push side of all internal doors.
In accessible toilets, changing rooms or to doors where it is known high wheelchair use is likely, kicking plates to be a minimum of 400mm high.

In childrens' homes, adult training centres, libraries etc. either select doors with a hard wearing surface or fit a kicking plate of sufficient height that will prevent damage by wheelchairs.