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Unveiling the Life-Saving Power of Fire Doors

Author : Priyanka | March 27, 2024

Homes and businesses always face the danger of fire, and having a door that not only lets people escape but also protects them is a true savior. That's where fire doors come in. These special doors are like guardians, keeping people safe and preventing the fire from spreading.

So, let's dive in and discover more about these life-saving doors that are there to protect us in life-threatening situations.

What is a Fire Door?

A fire door, or fire-rated door, is a crucial safety feature in a building, designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another for a specified period. Generally, these doors withstand fire for 30 to 60 minutes and can slow down the spread of fire. To be considered a fire-rated door, it must be certified by a manufacturer after passing various tests at an approved center, including fire and stress simulations.

These doors play an essential role for industries that are at risk of fire. According to the latest report by Kings Research, the global fire door market is expected to generate revenue of $26.55 billion by 2030.

What are Fire Doors Made of?

Fire doors are constructed from a variety of fire-resistant materials to withstand the intense heat of a fire. These materials often include a solid timber or mineral core, encased in steel or other metal alloys for added strength and fire resistance. Additionally, fire doors are fitted with intumescent seals that expand under heat, effectively sealing the gaps around the door to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

The door's core and seals work together to maintain its integrity during a fire, providing essential protection to occupants and enabling safe evacuation. This combination of materials ensures that fire doors meet stringent safety standards and provide vital protection in the event of a fire.

Where are Fire Doors Required?

Fire-rated doors are required in various locations within buildings, including:

  • Elevator Shafts: Fire doors are commonly required in elevator shafts to provide an additional layer of protection for elevators and the building.
  • Exits and Stairways: Doors opening into or serving as exits, including doors to stairways serving as exits, often require fire doors.
  • Occupancy Boundaries: Fire doors may be necessary between different occupancy classifications, such as between Group A and Group B occupancies.
  • Specific Building Areas: Certain areas within commercial buildings, such as stairwells, elevator rooms, and exterior openings, may require fire-rated doors for enhanced safety and protection.

Pros of Using Fire Doors

Below are the key advantages of fire-rated doors:

  • These doors provide a sense of security, ensuring the safety of occupants and property in the event of a fire.
  • They offer enhanced soundproofing, as their thickness and weight contribute to better acoustical insulation compared to regular internal doors.
  • They safeguard assets, including property and equipment, by helping to prevent fire and smoke damage.
  • Fire-rated doors help contain smoke, reducing the risk of smoke spreading throughout the building and potentially decreasing fire insurance premiums.
  • Installing these doors between sleeping areas and potential fire outbreak locations can enhance security and safety within the residence.

5 Key Guidelines and Regulations for Fire Safety in 2024

Compliance with regulations for fire doors is essential to ensuring the safety of buildings, occupants, and emergency responders. Some crucial standards and codes that play a significant role in fire safety and building regulations include:

1. NFPA 80

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80 provides guidelines for the installation, maintenance, and inspection of fire doors and other opening protective devices to ensure their proper functioning in the event of a fire.

2. Fire Safety Act 2021 & Fire Safety Regulations 2022

In the UK, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 20222 mandate regular checks to ensure that fire doors, including flat entrance doors, are in efficient working order and in good repair.

3. NFPA 101

NFPA 101, also known as the Life Safety Code, addresses fire and life safety for the public, first responders, and property protection. It integrates a comprehensive approach to fire code regulation and hazard management, referencing numerous NFPA codes and standards.

4. IBC

The International Building Code (IBC), developed by the International Code Council (ICC), sets forth requirements for building construction and fire safety. It covers a wide array of building safety solutions, including accreditation, codification, certification, product evaluation, and training.

5. IFC

The International Fire Code (IFC), also developed by the ICC, addresses hazardous conditions related to fire, explosions, and the use and occupancy of buildings and premises. It establishes essential regulations for fire prevention and protection systems, safeguarding public wellness and safety in communities.

Innovative Movable Fire Wall

Won-Door Corporation is a renowned company that has made innovative fire doors. Its product, the Won-Door Movable Fire Wall, is designed to protect openings that need to exceed maximum building code sizes, and it is commonly used in exit passageways, atriums, control areas, horizontal exits, shaft enclosures, and more.

The door is a horizontal wall-like sliding fire and security door system that offers innovative solutions to code constraints and provides protection against fire and hostile threats. By pushing the button, this firewall closes rapidly and locks down a building within seconds. It is equipped with dual-wall folding partitions, increasing building utility and providing unmatched sound attenuation while enhancing space utilization.

Bottom Line

Fire doors stand as indispensable elements in ensuring fire safety and containment. By effectively compartmentalizing and hindering the spread of fire and smoke, these doors play a pivotal role in safeguarding lives and property. They provide crucial time for safe evacuation, and their capacity to prevent the rapid escalation of fires makes them an essential feature in buildings and structures.

Fire-rated doors's potential to mitigate the impact of fires and protect occupants serves as a fundamental component of comprehensive fire safety strategies. Implementing these doors in residences and business settings ensures overall safety and security in various environments.

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