Fires seem to be running rampant these days. Reports show an uptick in the number of structure fires over the last several years. In fact, firefighters respond to more than 350,000 house fires each year based on information from the National Fire Protection Association. Those fires result in over 2,000 deaths, 11,000 injuries, and $6 billion in property damage.
Understanding Fire Door Ratings
Fire doors are designed to protect people, homes, and businesses against smoke and flames. They’re available in various materials, designs, and colors. At the same time, they come with a range of fire safety ratings. Those ratings signify how long a door should be able to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. Specific types of fire doors are required in different buildings and various areas within them, according to realtimecampaign.com
Twenty-minute fire doors are required for several applications. For commercial buildings, multi-family housing units, and other types of buildings, they’re installed in corridor entrances and exits, and similar areas where they need to control drafts and smoke may arise. In single-family homes, these types of doors may be installed in entryways between living areas and garages. Plastpro Doors and those available from other companies that bear this rating should be able to withstand fire for at least twenty minutes.
While twenty-minute doors are used for corridor entrances and exits, forty-five-minute doors are often found dividing corridors or leading into various rooms. They’re also installed between connecting rooms. In areas where exterior fires are common, these types of doors may be required for entrances, exits, and other places where twenty-minute doors would otherwise be found. Certain studies show fire can engulf a home or business in as little as two minutes, so doors that are rated for forty-five minutes can provide valuable extra time in the event of a fire.
Ninety-minute doors are typically used in boiler rooms, stairwells, and exterior walls. They’re designed for areas where the risk of fire exposure is more severe. They should provide at least an hour and a half of protection, allowing more time for occupants to find their way to safety or be rescued.
These are only a few of the most common types of fire doors currently in use. Some are rated for three hours or more and used in various high-risk scenarios. Your needs may vary based on the type of building you’re protecting, the chances of exterior fires in your area, and other factors. You can learn more here about fire door ratings and their appropriate uses.
Keep in mind that fire doors are only as effective as their surroundings. The doors should be installed in walls with specific fire ratings. In many cases, twenty-minute and forty-five-minute doors are required for walls with one-hour fire ratings. Ninety-minute doors are often used in two-hour walls. Having fire-rated door jambs and other safety measures in places is also recommended. Don’t overlook the importance of Door design updates and maintenance.
Fires can start without warning, and they spread quickly. Fire-rated doors and building materials can give you an advantage in terms of safety. Though they won’t keep out fire and smoke indefinitely, even a few extra minutes can save lives and prevent property losses.