What to Know When Buying Fire Rated Doors for Your Business

Does your business need a new door? When purchasing doors for your home, you often consider aspects like style, color, and security; however, when buying a door for your business, it is important to consider safety as well. According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 3,000 office properties catch fire during the year. The most often times that these fires occur is during the week and during normal business hours. Thus, it’s important to ensure that each aspect of your business is safeguarded from fire, which includes getting doors that are fire rated. These are some things that you should keep in mind when purchasing a fire rated door for your business.

What does fire rated mean?

A fire rating, also called a fire-resistance rating, refers to how long a door can withstand a fire. Measured in time, a fire rating may range anywhere from 20 minutes, written as ⅓ or ⅓ of an hour, to 4 hours. Obviously, when searching for a fire rated door for your business, a higher rating means that the door buys you more time as part of your building’s passive fire protection. Passive fire protection refers to the structures throughout your business, such as walls, floors, and doors, that contribute to containing fire and preventing it from spreading to other areas. It’s important to factor in a door’s location when considering the proper fire rating to look for in your commercial doors.

Understanding the difference between wood and steel

While commercial metal doors are the most commonly purchased fire rated doors by businesses, you may also want to consider a wood door with a fire rating. Wood and steel are different materials, and so each has its own benefits when it comes to fire safety. Commercial wood doors are usually less expensive than steel doors, but they also have a lower threshold for fire ratings. Wood doors usually don’t receive a fire rating higher than 1½ or 90 minutes, while steel doors range anywhere from ⅓ to 3 hours. Both steel and wood doors generally come in standard sizes as single or double doors, making each a good choice for your business.

Ways to add additional safety

Fire safe doors are a crucial part of a passive fire safety, but there are other characteristics you can add to a door in order to improve the safety of your business. One feature that improves the safety of your door is to add fire rated glass to the door. These windows are helpful in case of emergencies, because you can see through to other rooms and have a better idea about where the fire is spreading. Both wired and clear glass panes are fire rated, meaning you won’t compromise your passive safety plan by including windows.

Louvers are another feature that you can add to your commercial metal doors. A louver is a series of angled, metal slats that helps with ventilation to rooms that you’d want closed off in case of a fire. In case of a fire, you can close the louvers, sealing the door to help protect a room from having flames spread to it. This flexibility is one reason you may opt to include this feature on doors to utility closets and furnace rooms.

Purchasing fire rated doors is an excellent wayto make your business safer for your employees. Understanding how fire ratings are determined and how different materials affect fire rating is important for you to consider when shopping for commercial doors. A higher fire safety rating and additional safety features like louvers and windows can form a strong, passive fire safety plan, protecting your business’ interests

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