Fire Rated Doors: Choosing The Right Door For Your Facility

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Whether it is new construction, or adding an addition, most cities mandate that fire rated doors be installed and added to your building’s structure as another layer of the building’s fire protection system. Fire rated doors are designed to reduce the spread of fire and smoke in case of a fire-related emergency by allowing people to exit quickly when necessary. Fire doors are a simple and innovative solution for your safety and fire protection needs.

Choosing which fire rated door is right for you is essential to improving employee comfort and productivity along with energy efficiencies. A fire door is a door with a fire-resistance rating, which is sometimes referred to as a fire protection rating. This rating is used as part of a fire protection system in an effort to reduce the spread of fire and smoke between separate rooms or areas of a structure and to allow for the safe exit from a building. A fire-rated door set consists of the door leaf, frame, and associated hardware, including handles, locks, viewing panels, and air grills. All of these components are rigorously tested according to a set of national standards to achieve their fire rating. These doors are required to close and latch by themselves to avoid being left open, which is an important safety feature when it comes to compartmentalizing a fire or containing flames and smoke within a designated area while directing traffic to safety.

Before you start the process of figuring out which type of fire door to get, make sure to check your cities codes to see what type of door is being required. Commercial fire rated door requirements are determined by the fire rating of the wall and use of the door installed within a particular building.

Fire Door Ratings

Different fire doors have different fire ratings. An assembly will be made of components that have been tested together and must be used to maintain the designated rating. An installed door must comply with the proper commercial door hardware requirements to be approved with the appropriate rating. Door hardware, including hinges, latches and locks, closers, opening devices, and gaskets and seals must be fire listed and comply with The National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows. The association’s standards are set in place to regulate the installation and maintenance of doors used to protect openings in walls, floors, and ceilings from the spread of fire and smoke within buildings.

Three Hour And 90-Minute Doors

Metal fire doors can attain ratings up to three hours. A three-hour door is required in four-hour rated walls that separate buildings or divide a building into separate fire rated areas. Wood fire doors can be rated up to 90 minutes. A 90-minute door is required in two-hour rated wall openings to stairwells, elevator rooms, or openings through a building. In addition, 90-minute doors are also used in exterior openings where there is a potential for severe fire exposure from outside.

60 Minute, 45 Minute And 20-Minute Doors

A 60-minute, or one hour, door is required in one-hour rated walls that divide the number of occupants in a building. A 45-minute door is required in one-hour rated walls that serve as room partitions or divide corridors within a building. A 45-minute door is also installed in exterior door openings, particularly where there is a possibility of light to moderate fire exposure from the outside. A 20-minute door is utilized in one-hour rated walls to separate corridors where smoke and draft control are required. For instance, in residential applications, most doors that separate the garage from the living quarters of the home require a 20-minute label.


Why Industrial Facilities Need Fire Doors

In addition to complying with the requirements set forth by The National Fire Protection Association’s Standards, fire rated doors are an essential part of every industrial facilities’ fire protection model. Simply put, fire rated doors save lives. They stop fire and smoke from spreading quickly and from entering spaces where people may get trapped such as corridors, alcoves, warehouses, maintenance facilities, and labs. Furthermore, fire door signage helps direct people to safety in the event of a fire. Maps of the building prominently featuring escape routes are installed on the fire doors.

In addition to protecting the people inside of the building, fire doors protect the building itself by hindering the spread of fire and smoke throughout the structure. Fires can also be stopped from further spreading to other nearby buildings. This safety feature could be very important, particularly if a facility is located in an industrial area.

What Industries Benefit The Most From Fire Rated Doors

Different industries have specific concerns when it comes to fire safety. Often times, industrial facilities require advanced levels of fire protection. This is because they house hazardous materials and activity. Fire rated doors are designed and engineered to handle various heavy-duty industrial applications. Fire doors can be customized to meet the needs of any building’s space, offering safety of all facilities and personnel.

The different industrial sectors that benefit the most from fire rated doors include:

• Warehouses, factories, and industrial storage

• Oil, gas, mining, and offshore facilities

• Energy, civil engineering, and processing plants

• Atomic/nuclear power plants

• Medical, pharmaceutical, and scientific labs

• Waste management and treatment facilities

Choosing The Right Industrial Fire Door

If your industrial facility is looking to protect your building and employees through the installment of fire doors, consider which industrial fire door is your best fit. Keep in mind that factories and warehouses, industrial labs, kitchens, and research facilities vary greatly. To ensure high-quality performance, it’s important to choose the right type of fire door for your particular workspace. Let’s review some of the different types of fire doors that can be installed in industrial spaces and the benefits each type offers.

Radiation shielded fire doors provide a layer of protection in industrial spaces where radiation is used. Lined with a lead sheet, these doors include radiation shielded glass vision panels. Sliding fire doors are common in larger spaces in which large entry or exit points are needed to accommodate more employees and larger machinery. Hinged fire doors are designed specifically for heavy-duty use. These doors offer security, longevity, and absorb sound. Swinging fire doors work best in facilities where corridors have heavy traffic flow in multiple directions. The key feature of these doors is that they are engineered to swing 180-degrees, allowing for traffic to move quickly and easily back and forth through the doors. This is an essential capability to have in an emergency situation. Biothermic fire doors prevent the flow of gas between rooms or compartments by creating an airtight seal. These specialized fire doors can withstand extreme pressure and are made to resist both thermal and chemical damage. Ballistic fire doors provide significant protection. Ballistic doors are bullet and blast resistant doors, providing protection against weaponry assaults, forced entry, blasts, and explosions.

If you are ready to install fire rated doors in your building, Authority Dock & Door will help guide you in installing and servicing the highest-quality fire rated doors for your industrial application needs. We specialize in installing the best fire rated doors for your building’s fire protection system. We are here to help provide you with a simple and innovative solution for your safety and fire protection needs. Contact us today!

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