Imagine your dream office building. Sweeping windows, natural light, streamlined features, and equipment. Unlimited coffee and snacks in the breakroom, maybe? Chances are, regardless of your profession, you don’t imagine what the HVAC looks like or what type of fire suppression system you would install. That’s where the team at Lloyd Industries comes into play. Access doors are a critical part of creating a safe space for any staff to work, but they’re often misunderstood and underappreciated. This blog will explore what access doors are, the various types available, and why they should hold a special place in your heart when it comes to your building’s fire safety plan.
What is an Access Door?
In commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential buildings, access doors provide easy access to plumbing, mechanical, and electrical equipment located inside or behind walls, in ceilings, as well as within HVAC ductwork. Companies such as Lloyd Industries design and manufacture access doors to fit a variety of needs in ways that are the most natural and visually appealing. Access doors are necessary to pass a variety of building code inspections because they allow access to essential systems within the space.
There are a few specific options when thinking about access doors manufactured by Lloyd Industries, including custom sizes, mounting needs, and fire-rated access doors.
- Fire-rated: It’s essential to have a fire protection plan. Part of a comprehensive fire protection plan means ensuring you have equipped your building with the technology necessary to protect yourself, your employees, and ultimately your building in the event of a fire. Access doors are designed in one of two ways: fire-rated or standard. Lloyd Industries, for example, creates and manufactures both non-fire rated doors as well as 1.5-hour fire-rated access doors. In the event of a fire, having your HVAC equipment protected from damage can mean that the fire isn’t able to access points of entry in your vent system. Preventing access into the HVAC system can not only help the fire from spreading, but it can also prevent essential systems from being damaged in the event of a fire.
- Shape: Access doors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including square, rectangular, and round. Many companies, including the team at Lloyd Industries, can also manufacture custom doors to meet a variety of needs. This flexibility helps ensure that the space you need to access and the equipment that you want to protect is safe and secure while remaining easy to access.
- Installation: Access doors can be installed in a variety of locations, which means that they come with multiple options for how to secure the door in place. For example, Lloyd Industries offers non-fire rated doors in hinged or double cammed options, and in stainless or galvanized steel. Access doors come standard with dragon teeth for mounting. However, a backing of pressure-sensitive foam tape is also available depending on the need. Also, access doors for duct mounting come with 1″ and 1.5″ tabs.
Lloyd Industries manufactures access doors that are perfect for general contractors, plumbers, electricians, and drywall installers. Thanks to a flexible manufacturing and design process, access doors can be made for access to a variety of spaces.
- Ceiling/attic: Although many people rarely spend a significant amount of time in their attics, ignoring the space can lead to a multitude of problems. Neglected crawl spaces can become perfect nesting places for insects and other creatures. It’s essential to not only establish and maintain a proper cleaning routine for your attic but to ensure that you have easy access to your space when you need it as well. Purchasing a flush hingeless access door will ensure that the equipment doesn’t stand out after installation and that it will blend seamlessly into the room while still allowing for easy access.
- Exterior: As you can probably assume, using an access door that isn’t designed for exposure to the elements is not the best idea. However, companies have developed a variety of access doors that are treated to withstand exposure to the elements.
- Basement: For access to below-floor spaces, there are several floor access doors and hatches available for installation. It’s crucial to select a door that is going to provide access to the area while also maintaining a safe workspace. If the access door is in a location where people will be walking around and could potentially trip, fall, or otherwise injure themselves, equipping your access door with the proper safety accessories is essential.
Fire-Rated Access Doors
As a company that specializes in fire safety products, Lloyd Industries has a variety of fire-rated access doors for installation. One example is its fire-rated stainless-steel access door. These doors operate similarly to fire dampers in the way that they protect your home, office, or other building from destruction. Fire-rated access doors that close automatically are consistent with passive fire protection products, or products that protect people or structures from damage from fires without having to be activated by someone directly. An active fire protection product would be something such as a fire extinguisher or fire alarm because it must be activated by a person’s action at the time and cannot react automatically without assistance.
Access doors that are fire-rated come in a variety of ratings, or the amount of time that they can be exposed to open flame and remain structurally sound. Fire-rated access doors are also required to have a label certifying that the door is fire-rated, as well as the length of time that it is rated for, permanently attached or embossed, so it is easily visible for the lifetime of the door.
Purchasing and Installation
Finding a company that you can trust is essential to the peace of mind that comes with knowing you, your employees, and your company will be safe in the event of an emergency. Lloyd Industries is a worldwide leader in HVAC fire-rated safety products across the globe. Whether you’re shopping for access doors, air control dampers, fire dampers, or security bars, Lloyd Industries has you covered.