We usually come across huge heavy doors with the sign that reads 'for emergency only' at most public places and organizations. These doors are not used otherwise, and are reserved for emergencies like fire outbreaks or other calamities that could disable the elevators or other exit points.
Make and Model
Fire-rated doors look like any other regular door, but are made of heavy materials like metals, timber, steel, vermiculite boards, glass, or gypsum. Most of the fire doors are made using a combination of the aforementioned materials.
The primary function of these doors is to block the smoke or fire between compartments or a place of ignition, so that the occupants in the premises can move to safety without having to come in contact with the fire. These doors are generally noncombustible and have the capacity to hold an average fire for a certain time period.
The time period ranges from 20-90 minutes depending on the area of the building, structure, and the quality of the door installed. It is a mandate that these doors meet the minimum guidelines of the testing agency which determines if the door is really fire resistant or not.
The design and materials used in the door and its components―right from its frame to the latch―has to be tested. All the components need to pass the product certification requirements that are approved by the local authority.
Hence, fire-rated doors are designed and manufactured with great care and precision. The frames are endowed with seals that prevent the fire from spreading. The leaf of the door is also made of materials that prevent fire or can survive it without leaking the fire.
The hinges, latch, and door knobs too have to undergo the strenuous resistance tests. These doors are installed in walls known as fire walls, which are tested for combustion as well. The fireproof design converts an ordinary door into a passive fire protection system.
Design and Decor
Well tested fire-rated doors are increasingly becoming the staple of modern furniture. They have come a long way and are now available in various designs, materials and technology that can suit the physical structure of offices, malls, and even your house.
Most of the fire doors come with an automatic shut system. These doors get locked when the fire is detected by a fire sensor system. Due to this, you can keep the door open during other times. You do not have to compromise on beauty for safety reasons.
Fire-rated doors with glass are more common in workplace settings and corporate companies, but the residential ones are generally made of wood as they suit most home interior designs. Many of these doors come with a built-in window which is fire tested.
Prevention is better than cure and hence installing fire-rated doors at public places is always a smart option. But remember that in case of an accident, solely relying on these doors is not a wise thought, instead, make sure that you get out of the building as soon as possible for your safety.