Fire Doors

Jan 01, 2011
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There is nothing more important than keeping your employees at the office safe and keeping your loved ones at your home safe. Keeping your possessions safe is priority No. 2. That is one reason why fire doors are so important in offices and should be considered in some homes, too. If you need some guidance on choosing the right type of fire door, then don't hesitate to find a local fire door contractor who will be able to guide you as to the proper choice.

What Exactly Are Fire Doors?

Fire doors are used in buildings (and sometimes in homes) to prevent the spread of fire or smoke. Fire doors are made of a combination of materials including timber, steel, gypsum, vermiculite boards and glass sections. For a fire door to be complete, it must also have asufficient fire door frame. This means that it must meet or exceed fire rated regulations, have intumescent strips and smoke seals. Fire doors also must be self-closing, have good latching devices and must be recognized by testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories.

What Are Fire Door Ratings?

Fire doors (and other fire-resistant products) are rated in amounts of time and given aclass. Rated fire doors are tested to withstand a fire for a specified period. There are 20-, 30-, 45-, 60- and 90-minute rated fire doors that are certified by an approved laboratory, such as Underwriter Laboratories, as mentioned above. A fire resistance rating is determined by the amount of time a partition will prevent the spread of fire. For example, a one-hour door (and its wall and supports) would have to hold back a typical fire for at least one hour. A 20-minute fire rating requires a fire door to withstand an intense fire on one side that could rise to over 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit in 20 minutes, and to handle being hit by a pressurized fire stream without allowing any openings. The certification only applies if allparts of the installation are correctly specified and installed. For example, fitting the wrong kind of glazing may severely reduce the door's fire resistance. Make sure you find a reliable fire door contractorto install your door.

Sometimes, we cannot prevent a fire. But we can prevent the spread of a fire by installing the proper fire doors in our homes and businesses. A simple step to help save the lives of people in a time of serious danger.

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