Commercial fire doors are one of those things in a building that is easy to ignore but you’ll be glad it is there if you need it. That’s the case with most safety measures in a building, such as the overhead sprinkler system or the fire extinguisher. But there are actually a number of things that building owners should know about their fire doors in order to ensure they are following state and federal regulations and have the right door installed on their site. The Commercial Door Service team in Houston has put together this handy guide about everything you need to know about the fire doors in your building. Read through these important facts and if you still have questions about fire doors, you can give our team a call.
Commercial Fire Doors 101
Fact #1: Fire doors are required by law.
That’s right: there is no getting around your need for a fire door in your commercial building. They are mandated by state and federal laws, including what kind of door you need, how many you have to have, and how often they should be inspected. Working with a professional fire door installation company can help you ensure you are meeting all of the laws as required.
Fact #2: Fire resistance is about more than the door.
While the door itself offers fire resistance, it’s not just the door that does that. Many fire doors also have frames that are fire resistant as well as all of the hardware such as hinges and handles. Many doors also offer smoke seals that help to stop the spread of smoke from a fire, making it safer for those trying to exit the building to breathe the air. Fire doors are really just one facet of a total fire-protection package.
Fact #3: Different doors resist fire for different lengths of time.
Fire doors are rated based on how long they are able to withstand fire. Typically, you’ll see doors rated from 20-minutes to 90-minutes, although there are doors on the market that are rated for up to three hours. Local and federal laws will dictate which kind of door you are required to have, but remember that you can always pick something that’s rated above the required door. So if you are required to have a 20-minute door installed, feel free to upgrade to a 90-minute door to give yourself added security.
Fact #4: Fire doors will need to be inspected annually.
Federal laws also dictate how often you need to have your fire doors inspected. You’ll be required to do so on an annual basis, but it’s not something that you can do for yourself. You’ll need to employ the services of someone who is qualified to perform the inspection. If during the inspection the inspector discovers any issues with the door, they will need to be fixed immediately. If they aren’t, not only are you leaving yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit, you are endangering the lives of the people inside your building.
Fact #5: Doors can prevent heat transfer to make areas safer for an exit.
Commercial fire doors don’t just work to prevent the spread of fire, they actually help prevent the spread of heat from the fire. Preventing the spread of heat can make blocked off areas easier for people to get through as they attempt to leave the building. For instance, if there is a fire on the third floor, people on the floors above it are going to need to leave via the staircase. If the fire doors didn’t prevent the spread of heat, it could become dangerous in the stairwell around the third-floor area and put those people at risk. But when heat transfer is stopped or slowed, they’ll be able to move through the stairwell past the third floor and out to safety.
We Know Commercial Fire Doors
Commercial Door Service has been helping local Houston businesses with their fire door needs since 1998. We understand what the law requires in your fire doors and how to get them quickly and safely installed. If you are in need of new fire doors or having your existing fire doors repaired, it’s time to get in touch with us. Simply give us a call or contact us through our website and tell us more about your commercial fire door needs. We can get to work right away!