Safety should always be the top priority. In the event of a fire, knowing what to do could save your life. While the best way to ensure fire protection is by preventing fires in the first place, the second-best thing is to limit its spread, giving enough time for people to evacuate the place.
On the subject of a building’s structure, fire protection must be utilised, not only for the safekeeping of the people indoors but also for the building itself and its surrounding structures. With that being said, it is wise and practical to invest in equipping fire-safety facilities such as fire-rated doors.
Since safety is a serious topic, you should be critical in knowing the technicalities of buying a fire-rated door. Below are the basic things you should know in regards to fire-rated doors.
What Are Fire-Rated Doors, and What Do They Do?
A fire-rated door is a special door built to withstand violent fires for the maximum length of time possible.
When closed, they provide a certain control by compartmentalising and delaying the spread of fire and smoke from one area of the building to the other. When open, they allow safer in and out access to a building.
How Long Can Fire-Rated Doors Hold Flames and Smoke?
Assuming that all components of a fire-rated door are in good condition, the length of time that it can withstand fire and smoke depends on the following specifications:
- FD 30 – 30 minutes
- FD 60 – 60 minutes
- FD 90 – 90 minutes
- FD 120 – 2 hours
- FD 240 – 4 hours
(Where FD indicates the integrity level, and the number is the minutes of fire protection offered.)
What Are the Important Features of Fire-Rated Doors?
A fire-rated door must comply with a set of regulations regarding quality, design, and durability. The typical features of these doors are:
- Certification: Without a certification mark, you cannot be sure of this fire-rated door’s legitimacy.
- Gaps:The tops and sides of fire-rated doors should be at least 3mm thick and less than 4 mm when the door is closed, while the gap on the bottom side of the fire-rated door can be twice as large depending on the build of the door.
- Seals:Intumescent strips are essential. Because they expand several times their original size when exposed to extreme heat, they seal the gap around the door flame, containing the fire and the smoke.
- Hinges:There must be at least three firmly fixed hinges with no missing or broken screws to ensure that the door opens and closes efficiently.
- Door Closer:Given that a fire-rated door only works when closed, it must close automatically.
Where Should Fire-Rated Doors Be?
Ideally, it would be best to use fire-rated doors in public structures and on multi-occupancies to safety in case of a fire. It is also recommended to buy a customized door instead of a readymade one for better suitability and fit. They are installed near the exit points of the building like staircases, corridors, etc.
In conclusion, it is better to be safe than sorry! Fire protection is crucial in the event of an emergency. You should invest in a good quality fire-rated door that offers the best fire protection level because of its role in saving properties and saving lives.