Requirements for Fire Doors Requirements for Fire Doors
There are extensive regulations covering fire doors. This is understandable, as they’re intended to help delay the spread of fire. Because of this, fire door ratings are absolutely vital. Different types of fire doors have different functions. The strongest will be used between different buildings to help contain fire. It’s also important to remember that fire doors need to be used with fire walls in order to effectively stop the spread of a blaze.
Fire doors are rated from 3 hour doors, which are designed to hold back a fire for 3 hours and be used with 4 hour rated walls, down to a minimum of 20 minute doors, which are used with 1 hour walls. You generally find the latter type of fire door in corridors, as they are intended to control smoke and drafts rather than the fire itself, giving people within a building the chance to escape.
The grades include 20 minutes through to 45 minutes, 1 hour, 90 minutes, and all the way up to 3 hours.
Glass in Doors
Fire doors glass should be ceramic, with ¼ inch wire. However, 3 hour doors aren’t usually allowed to have glass fitted unless specific local laws permit it. In this case, the window frame must also have the right approval to be used in a fire door.
Temperature rise doors have cores made from specific materials that limit the passage of heat. This makes it much easier for people to escape, and the doors work as an additional measure to the time ratings. There are three different measurements, ranging from 250 degrees Fahrenheit to 650 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unlike fire doors, there are no specific time-based regulations regarding the frames for fire doors. Instead, there are just general fire door frames that can support any and all hourly rated doors. Note that in drywall, the frames are only intended to be used with doors that have a maximum 90 minute rating. Masonry is usually subject to the maximum hourly rating, unless otherwise specified, which is 3 hours.
Although the main purpose of fire doors is to prevent the spread of fire in a building, they can also used as regular doors. The hardware used has to conform to specific standards. The doors have to be on steel hinges in order to open and close smoothly, even during a fire, and must be of certain height and thickness in order to conform.
Swinging fire doors must have an automatic latching device. Exit devices should be tested not only for panic loads, but also for fire, and should be on the same hourly rating as the door itself. The only hold-open devices used with fire doors should be electromagnetic, since these are the only ones that can close quickly enough to stop toxic gasses and smoke spreading. All fire doors, fire door hardware and frames should have a label attached.
To be most effective, all fire doors, frames and hardware should be installed using Standard 80 of the National Fire Protection Association.