Whilst not always a topic we’re keen to talk about, fire safety is absolutely crucial in the design of any new buildings; after all, people who occupy a building expect to be safe and sound in case a fire breaks out. And to ensure that there are no mishaps, as business owners you need to have fire doors installed across the property.
Simply put, installing fire doors is equal to saving lives. These doors are a part of a property’s ‘passive’ fire protection protocol making them obligatory for offices, public buildings and factories.
Fire doors are designed to keep the fire and smoke from spreading for a certain amount of time. This helps with the following essential functions:
- Protecting escape routes for safe evacuation
- Protecting the property and the contents within for insurance purposes
- Assist firefighters in extinguishing the fire in a safe and sound manner
Where Should I Install Fire Doors?
Commercial buildings must have protected escape routes that are clearly specified with the help of signs. If these routes lead to staircases and corridors, having fire doors installed here would be preferable.
Containing fires by compartmentalising it is one of the key functions of fire doors. This keeps the fire and smoke from spreading from one place to another. This tells us that these doors are usually installed in areas that are at a high-risk. For instance, storage areas with combustible goods, kitchens and boiler rooms are ideal for fire door installation.
Fire Doors vs Other Doors
Fire doors are designed specifically to resist and contain fire and smoke. This in itself places them in a league apart from other regular doors.
To give you an idea of how different fire doors really are, we’ve mentioned some key attributes below.
- Fire doors are comparatively heavier than regular doors as they’re made of composite resistant material. This makes them fairly difficult to open and close.
- To make these doors shut automatically, they need to have a door closer fixed.
- Fire doors come with seals fitted snugly around the edges. These tend to expand when exposed to heat to help block any gaps in between.
- If there are windows attached to these doors, they have to be glazed for fire-resistance.
- Every component of the door has to be fire-resistant for optimal performance.
How long do Fire Doors Have to Resist Fire?
FD30 is the most commonly installed fire door and it is designed to fend off the fire for at least 30 minutes. FD60 doors are also available and they’re designed to resist fire for at least 60 minutes. Both the doors have fully tested seals installed that resist and contain the smoke as well.
You should know that fire doors are subjected to a furnace test by using the time-temperature aspect. The certifications are provided as proof of the authenticity of its resistance.
However, in case of a real fire, how long will these doors actually hold up will depend on a number of elements. Factors like the ratio of fire to door orientation, the reason behind what caused the burning and the extent of energy release will combine to decide the level of fire resistance in real-time.
For instance, fire doors installed might fail sooner in case of a breakout or they might end up standing through the worse cases of fire.
So it will really depend on the nature of your business and the contents stored within to decide how fire-prone your property really is. Additionally, the expert installers and specifiers at Doorway Services will be able to help you make a better and safe choice.
Performing Routine Checks and Repairs
You need to conduct routine fire door checks to ensure that they’re ready in case of an emergency. The slightest change in any element of the door can impact its performance. Every six months or so, make it a point to call in the servicing specialists at Doorway Services. If your building receives moe foot traffic, conduct checks more often.