Rated fire doors are such an essential part of a building’s fire safety protection that it is no wonder so many countries around the world make such practices a law to enforce the requirement. All new construction projects are required to have official inspectors investigate the structure and declare it safe. In many instances, the lack of fire doors in a business or institutional structure would prevent the passage of the building into legal occupancy.
With the very life of the occupants at stake, all possible methods of preserving that while offering chances to escape, fire doors are a strong defense. Firstly, they insulate the heat of a fire from passing over to the other side With heat-expanding gaskets. Fire doors block choking smoke from escape routes like stairwells. With the greater danger of smoke inhalation over actual burning as the primary cause of fire deaths, the clearer air passages greatly improve the chances of escape.
Fire doors are rated by the amount of time it takes for a fire on one side of the door to burn through enough that the door fails as a deterrent. FD30 means the door is made to last thirty minutes with FD60 being a hour before failure. An “S” designation means the fire door has been constructed to block cold smoke, that meaning heat is not required for the seals to become airtight. The balanced hanging of a fire door also determines it’s effectiveness against fire and smoke.
In the United States and many other countries, fire doors must be inspected annually. The inspections cover such diverse aspects of the fire door as the glazing ans vision light glass inserts, frame and hinges, absence of holes or bent sections, and the latching hardware. The gaskets and edge seals must be inspected and the overall door assembly has to be checked that no modifications have been made to void the local code regulations.
Even warehouses have regulations about fire door presence. On the outside, fire doors can help contain the blaze to the confines of the building’s walls. Inside, they can shield more densely populated work spaces as offices and show rooms. In large institutional buildings like hospitals or schools, the fire doors provide compartmentalization of actively burning areas as the evacuation procedures are different from a store or factory. The passive fire resistance a certified fire door provides is often the single most important element in saving life and property.