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What is a fire-rated door

More than 330,000 house fires occur in the United States annually. Not to mention the ones that occur in business facilities. A fire is a kind of emergency that might be impossible to predict or prevent, so it’s extremely important to take some fire security measures in advance.

You may install heat sensors and smoke detectors that’ll help you detect the fire break out. Usually, these sensors are connected to your home security system that’ll send you a notification in case of an emergency.

Another great measure to decrease the damage caused by a fire is a fire-resistant door. These doors are composed of certain materials that can help to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.

Sure Lock & Key would like to tell you more about this type of door and the benefits it offers, so keep reading.

How do I know if my door is fire rated

If you’re moving into a new house or office building, it’s essential that you pay attention to its fire protection. First of all, check whether your door is resistant to fire. If not, you may consider purchasing one. So, how exactly do you define if your door is fire rated?
First of all, start by looking for a fire-rated label by Underwriters Laboratories or Warnock Hersey. Usually, this metallic tag with the letters UL or WH can be found somewhere near the hinges. For some of the doors, these signs might be on the top or bottom of the door. Also, sometimes this label is carved on the door. Depending on the color you see on the label, you can define how long your door can resist fire. The lowest is a 20-minute fire-rated door and the highest is a 90-minute one. However, keep in mind that this rating is not 100% accurate and if your door is 90 minutes rated, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll withstand fire for exactly 90 minutes.
fire exit door
Another sign that your doors are fire rated is when they have panic hardware or door closers.
However, if you can’t find the label, it could’ve been cut off or painted over due to improper installation. In that case, try looking for maintenance records or a log book.
fire exit door

What is the difference between a fire-rated door

Today, most office buildings and public facilities are equipped with either fire-resistant doors or emergency exit doors. Let’s define what their main differences are.
First of all, both these doors are considered a fire safety measure, but they serve different purposes. A fire-rated door is supposed to resist fire and slow down its spreading. It is composed of sturdy, fire-resistant materials. Emergency exit doors, on the other hand, are designed to let people leave the building as fast as possible if a fire breaks out.
Another difference is the material they’re made of and the type of lock they’re equipped with. Fire doors are usually made of steel and have some glazing that enables them to withstand fire. Also, they’re supposed to be equipped with a high-quality fire-resistant door lock. So, if your steel fire-rated door doesn’t have one, you may use professional residential locksmith services to install it. Fire exit doors are also made of solid materials, but to be opened easily they’re supposed to be light. Also, mostly these doors are equipped with push bars to ease the exit process.
firefighter check a door
The location of these doors differs as well. Fire exit doors are installed on the outside to leave the building fast. Fire-rated doors are usually located inside to prevent fire from spreading into other rooms.
firefighter check a door

Can you turn a normal door into a fire door

Fire safety is extremely important, but we understand that most people wouldn’t want to replace their original door with a fire-rated one. It’s expensive, time-consuming and may not suit the interior and exterior of the house. So, many people want to know if it’s possible to turn their regular door into a fire-rated one. Our answer is – “Yes”, but not all of them. So, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider.
First of all, look at the thickness of your door. If your door is not composed of sturdy materials and is thin and hollow inside, it would be impossible to turn it into a fire door. Usually, all the doors inside the house are like that because people pay more attention to the security of their front door, not the interior one. So, you won’t be able to transform this door into an interior fire-rated door.
Another thing you need to look at is the material your door is composed of. If they’re made of oak or steel, it’s perfect. To turn them into fire-resistant doors, you’ll need to apply glazing that can withstand fire. Use a drill to take your door off the hinges. Apply the glazing on your door and prepare the frame to put your door back. Measure everything carefully and drill the holes. Put some sealant on these holes and attach your door. Ensure that everything is settled and check if your door is opening and closing properly.

Do you need a special door frame for a fire door

A fire door will be functional only if all the components are resistant to fire. So, basically, there’s no point in purchasing a fire-rated door if you don’t have a door frame or lock that can withstand fire as well.
A proper door frame is essential to keep the smoke and fire from spreading. Also, it’s important that your door and door frame go together. So, if your door is supposed to withstand fire for 60 minutes, you can’t use a 30-minute-resistant door frame. It’s advisable to purchase a door and frame from the same manufacturer so they’re 100% compatible.
So, ensure that your door frame is made of solid materials and has a fire label on it as well. Also, ensure that the installation of your door and door frame is performed properly. For that purpose, we recommend you use the assistance of professional technicians.

Summing up

We can all agree that fire security is extremely important. No one would want to deal with the consequences of a house fire or an office fire. So, there are some measures to avoid that. A fire-rated door is one of the best ways to slow down the spread of fire and smoke. Don’t forget that a fire door requires a fire-resistant lock as well. To install it, you may contact Sure Lock & Key. We’ll gladly assist you with this process.

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