Doors that are fire-rated are made of materials that work with one another to hinder or stop the spread of fire, it’s smoke and, in some instances, conductive and radiant heat transference. Common materials comprise of steel, fiberglass, wood, and fire-rated glass—or a composite of these materials.
Fire-rated doors are known as assemblies and include the door itself, its frame, hardware, glazing and basic parts. Individual basic parts aren’t required to be supplied by the same company; nevertheless, they are required to be labeled and classified for use in a fire-rated door assembly. Increasing ease of requirements, some companies presently provide fire-rated door assemblies in which the basic parts have been manufactured and tested to work with one another as a unified unit. This helps guarantee the protective opening performs as designed.
In utilization, fire-rated doors work alongside surrounding passive fire protection systems to provide a 24-7 defense against fire and allows safe and unimpeded passage out of a structure. When installed correctly, they are not going to catch fire or fail for the duration of their fire rating (in an average fire). Standard fire ratings differ, usually ranging from 20 minutes up to 3 hours depending on code stipulations. Fire-rated doors must be self-closing and assured latching. They must remain closed throughout a fire to safeguard the means of a way out.
Fire-rated doors are more typical in commercial buildings than in residential structures, such as houses. They are typically utilized in areas of exits/ entrances, like lobbies, stairwells, storefronts, to fulfill code requirements and increase occupant safety. Fire-rated doors can also safeguard against accidental human influence and safeguard against firearms, forced-entry and blast.
To fulfill fire ratings and additional life safety and security ratings, these doors go through rigorous tests conducted by independent laboratories.
How do I know if a door is fire rated?
Being able to determine if a door is fire-rated is important to not only guarantee that a building meets code but also that any alterations to a door are not going to invalidate its fire rating. For instance, if a fire-rated door is altered with non-fire-rated hardware, it is going to lose its fire rating. To identify a fire-rated door, someone must locate on the questionable door in a fire label from a certified testing facility. Two common facilities are Warnock Hersey (WH), the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and A local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can also assist in providing names of other certified facilities. To locate these labels, there are a few places someone can look.
What are the differences between fire-protective doors and fire-resistant door assemblies?
While the terms fire-protective and fire-resistant sound similar, they refer to two very dissimilar kinds of fire protection.
If a door assembly is fire-protective, it safeguards against the spread of flames and smoke for its intended fire rating. These doors are usually suitable in which building codes permit “opening-protective” assemblies, including the door, their sidelights and windows. Fire-protective enameled materials suitable for these doors comprise of conventional wired glass, glass ceramics and specially tempered glasses. For total-light glass door applications, TGP offers fire protective enameling available with fire ratings varying from 20 minutes to an hour and a half with the necessary hose stream test.
If a door assembly is fire-resistive, it offers the same protection against flames and smoke as its fire-protective equivalent but adds more protection by blocking the transference of conductive and radiant heat. This harsh term is typically only used concerning fire-resistance-rated wall constructions.