What are fire doors made of?
Fire doors can be made with a combination of timber, steel, gypsum, and aluminium. They can also have windows, which are made from borosilicate or ceramic glass (both of which offer a higher fire resistance than standard glass), and may contain an anti-shattering wire mesh.
To enhance their fire-stopping abilities, fire doors are flush with the frame; any gaps are filled with silicone-based fire-resistant sealant. These are often accompanied by an intumescent strip attached at the base of the door, which expands when exposed to heat to prevent smoke from seeping underneath.
Fire doors are commonly designed to include a closing mechanism. Usually fitted at the top of a door, these spring-loaded or hydraulic mechanisms force the door closed, preventing fire and smoke from passing from one area to another.
It’s worth mentioning that whilst many doors may contain some or all of these features, they may not necessarily be ‘fire doors’. To be called a ‘fire door’, a design must be certified by a manufacturer. Fire door certification is awarded once a door has passed various tests at an approved centre, including a fire and stress simulation. You can tell which doors have been certified by a label attached to their top edge, which states the manufacturer, date of manufacture, and designated fire rating (more on this below).
ow long does a fire door protect you for?
There are different grades of fire door, and each one provides a different level of protection. The grades are separated by how long they can withstand fire. The main ones are FD30 (30 minutes), FD60 (60 minutes), FD90 (90 minutes) and FD120 (120 minutes).
The main aspect that differentiates the grades is the ‘certified core thickness’ of the doors. This is the core material of the door over which there can often be aesthetic layer of different material.
FD30 and FD60 are generally used internally for offices and residential buildings. Any grades over FD60 are more common for the protection of highly-valued properties or core infrastructures (for example, archives or server centres)
When are fire doors required?
All regulations pertaining to the use of fire doors are contained in Fire Safety: Approved Document B and following incorporations. According to the legislation, doors are required in domestic buildings over 2 storeys high; each leading to a stairwell (at every level) from a habitable room (not a bathroom, for instance) must be a . For commercial or non-domestic buildings, fire door requirements vary according to whether escape routes are vertical or horizontal (down stairs or through corridors).
If you’re looking to get your building (whether residential or commercial) in line with current fireproofing regulation, get in contact with CLM Fireproofing. As the UK’s leading provider of passive fireproofing services, we ensure full compliance with the latest standards.
What are fire-rated doors?
Fire-rated doors are constructed of materials that work together to slow or stop the spread of flames, smoke and, in certain applications, radiant and conductive heat transfer. Common materials include wood, steel, fiberglass and fire-rated glass—or a combination of these materials.
Fire-rated doors are referred to as assemblies and include the frame, hardware, glazing and component parts. Individual component parts are not required to be supplied by the same manufacturer; however, they must be classified and labeled for use in a assembly. Improving ease of specification, some manufacturers now offer-rated assemblies where the component parts have been designed and tested to work together as a cohesive unit. This helps ensure the opening protective performs as intended.
In application, fire-rated doors work in conjunction with surrounding passive fire protection systems to provide around-the-clock defense against fire and enable safe and unobstructed passage out of a building. When installed properly, they will not combust or fail for the duration of their fire rating (in the average fire). Standard fire ratings vary, typically ranging from 20 to 180 minutes depending on code criteria. Fire-rated doors are required to be self-closing and positive latching. They must remain closed during a fire to protect the means of egress.
Fire-rated doors are more common in commercial buildings than residential structures. They are typically utilized in areas of egress, such as lobbies, stairwells, storefronts and exits, to meet code requirements and enhance occupant safety. Fire-rated doors can also protect against accidental human impact and safeguard against ballistics, forced entry and blast.
Being able to identify fire-rated doors is important to not only ensure that a building is up to code but also that any modifications to a door will not negate its fire rating. For example, if a fire-rated door is modified with non-fire-rated hardware, it will lose its fire rating. To identify a fire-rated door, a person must find on the door in question a fire label from an approved testing agency. Two common agencies are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Warnock Hersey (WH). A local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can also help provide names of other approved agencies. To find these labels, there are a few places a person can look.
Understanding the basics of fire-rated door labels
A fire label is often located on the hinge side of a fire-rated door, but it can also be located on the top or bottom of a door as well. These labels might be painted over, so be sure to check for any raised surfaces. If these labels are not found, the door is most likely not fire rated (but always reach out to an AHJ for clarification). If a credible label is there, then it is a fire-rated door.
If a fire-rated door is being modified, it is critical to confirm that any component modifications meet the testing requirements and criteria stated on the fire-rated door label. This includes the fire rating and type of fire protection the door provides (e.g. fire protection or fire resistance).
Fire-rated glass door labels
Today’s fire-rated doors frequently incorporate glazing to promote visibility and daylight. Since the glass itself promotes fire- and life- safety functions, it is also crucial to have an understanding of where to locate and how to read fire-rated glass door labels. Most often, these labels are etched into the bottom of the glass in the right or left corner. However, because it is important for them to be easily seen by first responders, they may be in an upper corner when needed.
Fire-rated glass labels include a range of information, including the product name, basic characteristics (e.g., tempered, laminated, etc.), compliance with impact safety requirements, and listing information for the applicable independent testing agency.
What Does Fire Door Mean?
A fire door is a type of door that has been built to withstand direct exposure to fire for an extended period without allowing the fire to move to the other side of the door. They are typically comprised of a solid timber main door, along with numerous other components (e.g., the door hinges) that are purpose-built for use with fire doors. Fire doors are primarily used to prevent fires from spreading, to act as a heat shield, and to protect emergency exits and shelters.
The correct use of fire doors—as well as the specifications to which they must be built—is governed by a variety of safety codes, especially local building and fire codes. National and international consensus standards such as the NFPA codes (United States) and the International Fire Code (IFC) also contain requirements for the use of fire doors. These standards typically apply to commercial residential buildings such as apartments, as well as to non-residential workplace buildings such as industrial facilities.
Safeopedia Explains Fire Door
Every component of a certified must be recognized as being compliant with relevant standards. This includes the hinges and handle, the door-closing apparatus, and any windows used within the door. Fire doors also feature seals around their edges that expand when exposed to high heat (>200°C / 392°F) to completely seal off the door. Additionally, the timber that the is exposed to is often covered by a fire-resistant glass or other cladding.
Occupational health and safety authorities typically enforce standards through recognition of various consensus and building standards (e.g., OSHA recognition of NFPA standards) and through their own task-specific standards. For instance, OSHA standard 1910.36 (“design and construction of exit routes”) requires that a self-closing every emergency exit. Furthermore, the standard requires that each used must be listed or approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, TUV Rheinland, or CSA International.
The proper methodology for testing and certifying fire doors is prescribed by international consensus standards ASTM E119 (“Standard Test Methods for Tests of Building Construction and Materials”) and ANSI 263, which require the to be able to withstand a specific time-temperature curve for an extended period. Doors are rated in minutes for the length of time they are able to withstand the exposure to the test heat. A door’s certification is valid only if it has been correctly installed and maintained, the requirements for which are also prescribed by consensus standards