Ensuring the correct fire door rating is a key code requirement for any commercial building project. Properly constructed and installed fire doors not only comply with building codes but also play a vital role in safeguarding lives and minimizing liability in the face of unforeseen tragedies.
Key aspects of fire door rating:
Whether it is building code enforcement or voluntary in areas of safety priority, understanding fire door ratings is crucial. The International Building Code (IBC), International Fire Code (IFC), and other codes and standards refer to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Guards. NFPA 105 also contains some details. To understand the fire rating requirements in an IBC, see Chapter 7. It covers fire resistance requirements for various types of firewalls, fire barriers, fire partitions, smoke partitions and smoke barriers (including doors).
Fire doors provide a certain level of protection against fire and smoke. Doors and door frames have building labels indicating their fire rating. Remember, if the door and door frame have different ratings, the lower of the two will be used as the rating for the entire assembly.
Relatedly, some areas require temperature rise doors to limit heat transfer. However, as more buildings use sprinkler systems, these requirements have been relaxed.
Helpful tips for specifying Fire Rated Door:
Ninety-minute fire doors are required for wall openings rated for two hours that lead to stairwells, elevator lobbies, or exits through a building. Ninety minute doors are also used for exterior openings as serious fires can also occur outside.
Twenty-minute fire doors are used on one-hour rated walls to separate hallways where smoke and airflow control issues may exist.
Fire doors must be self-closing or connected to a fire alarm system so that they close automatically in the event of a fire. Hardware on fire door assemblies must have removable latches to reduce the risk of fire pushing the door open.
Fire door hardware and standards:
Door hardware must comply with NFPA 80 standards. This allows for the on-site installation of unmarked kick panels on fire doors as long as the top of the kick panels is no more than 40cm from the bottom of the door.
The IBC requires fire doors to be tested under positive pressure. The test is designed to simulate the conditions of a real fire. This is different from a neutral pressure test, and for wooden doors, this difference is important.
Fire Rated Doors wholesale:
Your commercial construction customers may misunderstand you and believe that commercial wood doors do not meet their needs when it comes to fire protection. In fact, there are many options for fire-rated wooden doors, including step and track doors and 20-minute fire-rated glass doors. We can even manufacture French doors with a 20-minute fire rating.
Slab wood fire doors or frames and track wood doors are rated to last up to 90 minutes. Metal cores can slow the spread of fire. Buzhoushan Door offers doors that can be customized according to size and fire rating, and are designed for neutral or positive pressure.
What are the spaces with higher fire risk:
When you think of places where fires are more likely to occur, you probably think first of kitchens, such as restaurants or hotels. Facilities such as schools, day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals and even office buildings often have kitchens, sometimes more than one. Other places more susceptible to fires include spaces containing large electrical equipment, such as laundry rooms, garages and utility rooms. However, fires can occur almost anywhere.
Another way to determine the location of fire doors is to focus on the building occupants. Special consideration is given to spaces that serve more vulnerable populations, such as:
- Disabled persons
- Sick people
- Elderly people
This covers a wide range of possibilities, including education and health care facilities and especially any location where these groups spend the night.
Many of these are suitable for fire doors with glazing, providing safety but also light transmission and a more welcoming feel.
Buzhoushan Door: Award-winning fire door
At Buzhoushan Door, we always take a proactive approach to safety. We’re proud that third-party research and testing company Underwriters Laboratories recognizes us as a leader in wood fire door safety in 2021. They presented us with their inaugural Dedication to Safety Award—our wooden doors were the only ones recognized!
“We appreciate Buzhoushan’s continued commitment to UL certification and recognize their efforts to meet today’s safety challenges,” said Christopher Hasbrook, vice president and general manager of UL’s Building and Life Safety Technologies Division. “Design a door for your next project, Please consider specifying Buzhoushan Doors to meet a wide range of needs for both beauty and performance.
To find the right door for your commercial project, contact us using WhatsApp to find out more!