Maximize Fire Safety with Fire Doors

Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are required to have active fire protection devices like smoke alarms and sprinklers. In most areas, such buildings must also have passive fire protection features, which typically include fire walls, fire ceilings and other fire-resistant structural components. Passive fire protection systems like these help keep fire and smoke contained, but there still needs to be a way for people to get in and out of various parts of a building during a fire. That’s where¬†fire doors¬†come into play.

Fire doors are typically required wherever there are door openings in fire walls. Depending on the area, they may also be required for doors that lead to exit stairwells, doors that lead to hazardous areas and doors that have exit signs on or near them. They are occasionally also required in homes too. For instance, building codes may require residential fire doors for doorways leading to habitable rooms on a second floor like loft conversions or for doors leading to integral garages.

The primary purpose of a fire door is to contain fire at its point of origin. This often minimizes the amount of damage that can occur. Such doors have fire resistance ratings that reflect how many hours they can withstand exposure to heat, smoke and fire. Most doors are rated to withstand at least 30 minutes of an active fire. Some can withstand several hours. Local building codes typically dictate the minimum fire resistance rating that is required for a given building.

In addition to helping to contain fires, fire doors provide egress points that people can safely use to get out of a building when one occurs. These doors are required to be kept closed, and they should only be opened to allow people to get in or out of a room. Unfortunately, people often prop such doors open, which negates their fire-resistant qualities.

Rolling Fire Doors

Fire doors are required for doors that are located along fire walls, and they’re not limited to standard doors that people walk through. Commercial buildings with large, rolling doors typically need them too. Like regular fire doors, rolling fire doors are designed to withstand fire, smoke and heat over certain periods of time. If building codes require the use of fire doors, rolling fire doors must be used as well where applicable. Like regular fire doors, they’re made out of steel and other fire-resistant materials. They sometimes include a special core that contains additional fire-resistant materials. The door itself must be fire resistant, and the frame around it must be too.

If you own a commercial business in or near Portland and need a rolling fire door, Overhead Door has you covered. We offer standard rolling fire doors, insulated rolling fire doors, frame and sill fire counter doors and more. Visit our website today to check out the available options, or give us a call and tell us how we can help.

Blaze Barriers: When Do You Need Fire-Rated Doors?

Requirements depend on national and local fire safety standards

Serving as an integral part of a building’s fire protection system, fire-rated doors minimize the break in the safety barrier provided by the fire walls. According to the U.S. Office of Compliance, properly installed and maintained fire doors, frames, and hardware are fundamental to interrupting the spread of smoke, toxic gases, and fire.

Rolling fire doors Locations to Install Fire Doors

While many requirements exist for where a fire door must be placed, there are generally six locations that you should be aware of. These include doors that:

– Are marked with exit signs

– Provide access to hallways or long corridors

– Lead to stairwells and elevator shafts

– Close in hazardous areas, such as flammable storage or boiler rooms

– Divide occupancies or smaller fire areas in the building

– Separate buildings

How to Choose a Fire Rating for a Door

Fire ratings range from 20 minutes to three hours, which indicate the length of time the door can withstand the blaze. These classifications are determined by the manufacturer’s controlled tests. The strength of the door’s fire rating depends on where the access is located and typically equals three-fourths of the fire rating for the surrounding wall. However, a door with a higher fire rating can be installed for greater security.

Where to Locate Fire Barrier Codes

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides the principal requirements for fire doors, which are outlined in Standard Number 80, “Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.”

While these detailed instructions are followed by the International Fire Code (IFC) and the International Building Code (IBC), both organizations also supply their own installation guides.

Additionally, the local fire code, the specific building code, the product’s manufacturer, and the insurance company may mandate extra conditions to ensure maximum fire protection.

Fire Door Safety Concerns

Safety and liability are the two main concerns of business owners when it comes to operating and maintaining fire-barrier doors. Every door must retain a legible certification label on the inside edge, which is provided by the testing laboratory. This tag not only proves safety compliance but also supplies important information when it is time to perform maintenance or replace the door.

In high-traffic areas, residents and employees often prop open fire safety doors, which creates a significant hazard. OSHA regulations require that fire exit doors are equipped with electromagnetic latches that automatically release when fire alarms activate. The doors should never be held open with blocks, wedges, ropes, or chains.

NFPA 80 also mandates that fire-door assemblies must be inspected annually and repaired immediately by experts in the industry.

Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR, can help business owners determine if fire-rated garage doors and interior doors are needed in their commercial and industrial facilities. Contact us today if you need to purchase, inspect, or perform maintenance on a fire-rated door.