Each and every commercial building has to abide by some set standard and rules to ensure a fire-safe environment. Fire doors are a vital part of the fire safety measures implemented in any non-domestic infrastructure. These additions are often a cause for concern for several landlords and tenants because they are quite unsure about the details and requirements that would suit their establishment the best. There are several queries that arise, we’ve compiled a list of such frequently asked questions about fire doors and provided comprehensive answers to eliminate the concerns and doubts.
Everyone says that fire doors are necessary to strengthen your passive fire protection but seldom do they actually discuss what are fire doors. A brief description of a fire door suggests that they are an engineered safety device that, when closed, serves as a barrier. The barrier is meant to compartmentalize and barricade the fire and smoke, prolonging its spread into the rest of the area of the building. They are doors that create an obstacle to the hazard and provide a secure escape for the people on the premises. The term fire-rated safety door is abbreviated to fire doors and are required to close and latch by themselves for maximum safety.
These doors tend to be more complex than the regular doors. They are made of multiple components that the standard doors are usually devoid of. To mention a few essential details about their makeup, the core of the door leaf is homogenous and built with suitable wood that adheres to the fire rating. The solid wood makes them heavier and thicker than the regular doors. They are fitted with the help of fire-rated frames, hinges, and handles along with intumescent smoke seals. The seals act as a complacent to the door as they expand when exposed to extreme heat and aid the prevention of letting the smoke seep elsewhere. Proper signage is also necessary to clearly indicate the presence of fire doors.
The mechanism and principle behind the installation of fire safety grade doors are pretty straightforward. The statistics suggest that major damage and fatality in the case of fire hazards are caused due to excessive inhalation of the toxic smoke rather than burns. The smoke seals and the thick door edges and frame seal the gaps thoroughly to prevent the smoke from getting through and the intumescent strips expand several folds when exposed to heat to contain the fire and smoke.
Such fire safety doors come with labels on the top or side of the door. Check for these specifications to ensure that the ratings are as per the infrastructure’s requirement. Use a coin to determine the gaps on the tops and sides of the door as it should not exceed 4mm for the fire door to perform its desired function efficiently. Ensure that the hinges and handles are fire rated along with the frame. Open the fire door and let it shut on its own. It is in good order if it shuts properly.
Yes, the fire doors can be painted with high-quality fire safety paint but there should be several coats of the said paint applied on the door. The experts have proper knowledge of navigating around the seal locks and painting such that the functionality and purpose of the door are not compromised. Some may even argue that the safety bar increases when a fire door is glazed as it becomes easier to gauge the potential danger through the glass without having to open it or compromise the door.