Fire doors are used in both residential and commercial buildings to ensure the people inside have a way to get out in case of a fire or other type of emergency.
To be termed a fire door, the door must be fireproof to help prevent a blaze from reaching other areas of the building and can be used as both an exterior or interior door. Determining the type of door you need is not immediately obvious—read on for general information regarding commercial fire doors.
Fire Door Basics
Fire doors are made to withstand different levels of fire. They can be certified for 20, 45, 60, 90 minutes or up to 3 hours based on how long they’re able to stave off the spread of smoke or fire. Fire doors may be made up of the following materials and must also be outfitted with smoke and gas seals.
- Gypsum Steel
- Glass (only in some sections)
- Vermiculite board
Interior Fire Doors
Fire doors used on the inside of a building operate much like any other door. People are able to go through them as they please without setting off alarms and they’re certified just like any other fire door. If an emergency were to occur, the doors should automatically close but not lock to allow people to move freely through the building to make their way outdoors. Interior doors don’t have to be unattractive. Many suppliers provide aesthetically pleasing looks that match building interiors perfectly without looking industrial.
Exterior Fire Doors
Fire doors leading to the outside can be either for everyday use or only in case of emergency. Doors should be clearly marked indicating whether an alarm will sound if it should be opened. Generally, exterior fire doors which shouldn’t be accessed daily will be out of the way and are also used as an added form of security.
Finding Information on Existing Fire Doors
Door and frame labels should be permanently affixed and provide information about the door. Information found on these labels includes:
- Timeframe the door is certified to resist fires
- Whether it’s a smoke assembly door
- If it requires fire exit hardware
The manufacturer’s number should also be included so contacting them with any questions should be simple.
What fire rating do you require?
The type of fire door you need is up to building code mandates. International Building Code includes tables which can answer this question based on your specific needs and building information. Fire resistance requirements based on fire barriers, fire walls, and fire partitions may vary.
What are temperature rise doors?
Temperature rise doors are meant to prevent heat from transferring from one side of the door to the other. This type of door is particularly of use when connected to a stairwell that would be used by occupants to exit the building. If the door were not a temperature rise door, anyone who bumped into it may be badly burned. As sprinkler systems are becoming a standard in commercial buildings, the need for this type of door has dropped.
Fire doors are a necessity in any commercial building. Contact Kenny’s Lock to see how we can help you with your fire doors and locks.