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Do you really need a fire-rated door? We try to answer this question for you in this article about fire-rated doors and their advantages. We will mention some of the most significant attributes of fire doors, and we will see if you actually need a fire-rated door at your home. Let’s dive in.
What Is a Fire Door?
A fire door or a fire-rated door is specifically made to withstand high temperatures in the situations when a fire is located in a commercial building or at home. A good fire-rated door will stop the passage of flames and smoke for extended periods of time.
These doors are usually made of metal or wood. In some cases, the material is gypsum. No matter the materials, the fire-rated door must have the selected time labeling that reveals how long the door can withstand the heat and smoke in a building.
Fire-rated doors are usually installed in commercial buildings. You can often find the doors in hotels, dormitories, and office rooms. People install fire-rated doors to protect the occupants, minimize the spread of smoke and flames, and reduce the damages on the property.
The doors are usually made to close automatically when the flame is located in the selected areas of the building. To keep the occupants safe, you must keep the doors unlocked, and the passages need to be free from any obstacles and useful in the moments of the possible evacuation.
What Are Ratings of Fire-Rated Doors?
We can find many ratings of fire-rated doors. In general, the ratings define the number of minutes or hours during which the doors can withstand the heat. The most common labeling is a 20-minute fire rating. This rating is reserved for wooden fire-rated doors that are commonly installed in homes and private areas.
There are also MDF (medium density fiberboard) doors that offer a wide range of possibilities. In this case, the doors can protect you for 20, 45, 60, or 90 minutes. The ratings are significant here because the higher the rating, the higher the price you will pay during the fire-rated door installation.
The maximum minute rating for a fired door is 180 minutes. The doors are tested in very challenging conditions where they are exposed to the extreme heat of up to 1925 degrees F. This testing and the temperature applied for the 180 minutes’ rating.
Temperature rise is another factor during the testing of fire-rated doors. These doors should limit the transmission of heat from one area to another. That is why the fire-rated doors carry a temperature rise rating that can be 250, 450, or 650 degrees F. These are the temperatures during the first 30 minutes of a standard fire endurance test.
How Can A Fire-Rated Door Help?
A fire-rated door can help hugely in the situations when a fire occurs in a building. Practical fire-rated doors are part of the passive protection in the building’s system of protection. For all these reasons, the doors must be installed and maintained according to the relevant instructions.
Always comply with the manufacturer’s specifications when installing the doors. At the same time, you must hire a hardware company that will install the doors according to the safety standards.
Fire doors must be closed during a fire because the smoke and fire cannot spread across the building when the doors are closed. During the evacuation, the fire doors must be accessible, and the areas around the doors must be clear.
If the doors are maintained properly, this can prolong the life of the doors. According to the rating, the doors will withstand the proper time limit. This limit could be 20, 45, 60, 90, or 180 minutes. You will have enough time to exit the building and find a safe area.
What Doors Need to Be Fire-Rated?
Some areas and buildings are more dangerous than others. When we talk about the danger, we emphasize the fire and smoke in a commercial building or home. If you are an owner of the specified area, you must install the fire-rated doors and protect your occupants in a possibly dangerous situation.
In most cases, you will need specified fire door categories, like FD30 and FD60. The endurance of these doors is 30 and 60 minutes, and these doors need to be installed in the proper areas. If the occupants need more time to exit the site, you must consider other types of doors, like FD90.
It is possible to choose the fire doors according to the time your occupants need to exit the space. Your fire doors need to be correctly installed by professionals who know how to install the doors to be fire resistant and long-lasting.
The overall design of a building will determine the type of doors that you must install. The following building categories require installation of the exact fire doors:
Non-domestic buildings – There is guidance for the installation of fire doors in non-domestic buildings. According to this guidance, you should consider vertical and horizontal escape routes. As an addition, the fire doors must have the proper signage that indicates the doors are fire doors. There should also be signage that says “Keep Closed.”
Domestic dwellings – There must be a fire door separating every room and stairwell in more than two stories high homes. The doors must be installed for each room at every house level, excluding toilets or bathrooms. You must also have fire doors if you own loft conversions or the area between a house and a garage.
Sections of mixed-use buildings – If you have a combination of business and residential sections, you must install a fire door to separate these areas properly.
There are many possibilities and variations in fire-rated doors. However, they all have the same purpose. They are made to protect us from fire and smoke, and they are installed to save lives. If you need a quality fire-rated door, consider LESSO’s fire-rated doors.
These products are made with attention to each detail. The doors will protect your life and the lives of all occupants inside the closed area. Contact LESSO’s team for more information.