How Fire Rated Doors Can Save Lives

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From residential and commercial to institutional infrastructure projects, safety and security should be on top of your priorities. By ensuring the safety of your personnel and assets, you will be able to scale your operations more easily and avoid damages that would hurt your balance sheet.

When most people think of safety and security, they immediately think of CCTV cameras and biometric systems. These advanced features may be useful in security practices as they let you keep track of who enters and exits your establishments.

But, as useful as these security devices are, you can’t overlook the fact that your doors are your first line of defense. At the end of the day, the doors at your entrances and hallways play a huge role in keeping your premises safe.

One functional type of door that offers safety is fire rated doors. They are essential in preventing the spread of fire. Every day, we encounter these doors in commercial, institutional, and multi-family residential buildings, but many people are unaware of them. Indeed, the presence of a properly placed, quality fire rated door can mean the difference between life and death in some situations.

What is a fire rated door?

A fire rated door (or simply fire door) has fire resistance qualities and is rated based on how long the door can handle extreme heat and remain intact within the frame that houses it. When used in conjunction with passive fire protection systems, a fire rated door provides reliable fire protection and allows for a safe and unhindered exit from a facility.

Fire rated doors are designed to delay or stop the spread of flames, smoke, and even radiant and conductive heat transmission. Wood, steel, fiberglass, and fire rated glass—or a combination of these—are the commonly used materials in fire rated door manufacturing. Fire rated door assemblies include the door, frame, glazing, hardware, and other components.

More common in commercial buildings than residential properties, this type of door is typically used in areas of egress, such as lobbies, exits, storefronts, and stairwells to meet code requirements and promote occupant safety. Additionally, fire doors are also protective against accidental human impact, as well as blasts, ballistics, and forced entry.

Why do you need fire rated doors?

Entrances and exits are not enough when fire safety and building code compliance are taken into account. Providing means of egress to building occupants can give a sense of safety and security during accidents like structural fires.

Establishing a compartment in buildings by separating lift lobby areas from stairway exits is among the main purposes of fire doors. Simply put, fire doors must offer protection at escape routes to enable people to evacuate a premise safely during an accidental fire.

Not only that but fire doors are also intended to halt the spread of fire and smoke for as long as possible. They are a passive fire safety feature that prevents fire, smoke, and fumes from spreading from one room to another. In this manner, they help firefighters to put out the fire safely and quickly before it can cause severe damage or injuries.

Where would you need a fire rated door?

In general, the primary focus of fire door placements is always safety. Fire doors that protect the building and its occupants for more than 60 minutes are often required where property preservation is crucial.

But, regardless of the type of structure, a fire rated door can be extremely valuable for all types of buildings.

  • Residential properties: A fire door must be installed between the stairs and every room in homes with more than two floors (except toilets or bathrooms). In addition, fire doors are required in loft conversions and between a house and an integrated garage.
  • Non-domestic facilities: There must be a safe escape path in non-domestic structures. Areas that lead to corridors or staircases should have fire doors. Fire doors must have proper signage on both sides, as well as relevant instructions such as “Keep Closed.”
  • Mixed-use buildings: Fire doors are required to separate the commercial and residential areas in mixed-use buildings.

How can you choose a high-quality fire door?

You should prioritize fire rated doors that have been certified for quality while looking for the best selection for fire rated doors. Before these doors are rolled out to end-users, they must be thoroughly tested to ensure their efficacy. By purchasing approved doors, you can be certain that they will deliver the safety and security functions they are intended for.

Besides fire safety elements, aesthetics should also be a consideration. Fire doors can be visually appealing and contribute to your property’s overall attractiveness.

Invest for Fire Safety

Keep in mind that as a property owner, it is your primary responsibility to ensure the safety of your facility and its dwellers and assets. Setting fire prevention and safety measures can save lives and considerably lessen the financial and legal consequences of a fire incident.

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