Have you recently heard a weird noise coming from your HVAC system? Being able to get to your unit quickly is crucial. Since most equipment is built into your building in discreet areas for security, access doors are used to provide entry to those closed-off spaces in the event of an emergency or maintenance.
What is an Access Door?
Access doors provide access to pieces of equipment or confined spaces in a building for things like plumbing, mechanical, and electrical equipment rooms. These rooms are generally located inside or behind walls, in ceilings, and in the ductwork. Access doors are required to pass a variety of building code inspections because they allow entry to essential systems within the space.
5 Different Types of Access Doors
- Fire Rated
Where Are Access Doors Located?
Access doors most commonly are located in three places: the ceiling or attic of a building, a building’s exterior, or the basement. Manufacturers focused on designing doors that would provide access to a variety of spaces.
Ceilings and attics are among the most neglected spaces in homes and buildings, which allows creatures and insects to settle in. Before maintaining a cleaning schedule for your attic, install an access door to your space that won’t draw attention but will allow you to visit the space when needed for easy clean-up and maintenance.
Most of the doors are not built to withstand different weather elements, but manufacturing companies have started treating access doors to withstand exposure. While it still isn’t recommended to place the doors on the exterior of your building, if necessary, a treated door is the right choice.
Floor access doors have continued to be increasingly popular for below-floor spaces. Many below-floor spaces are being worked in, so ensuring proper safety measures have been taken and that the door has been secured properly is crucial.
How Access Doors & Fire Dampers Work
Fire dampers are passive fire protection products that are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts. Fire dampers prevent the spread of fire from traveling through your ductwork. This gives people time to escape the building and prevents the damage from spreading in the event of a fire.
Fire-Rated Access Doors
There are several ratings for access doors. The doors are fire-rated based on the amount of time they can be exposed to an open flame while remaining structurally sound. They are required to have a label that certifies they are fire-rated and how long that rating is valid for.
The fire rating must be permanently embossed or attached to the door, ensuring easy visibility. It cannot be painted over or removed for the door’s lifetime. Similar to fire dampers, the doors are used to prevent fire from spreading in order to help people get out of the building safely.
When do I Need a Fire-Rated Access Door?
Building codes require fire-rated attic doors. All new construction or newly renovated buildings are required to have fire-rated doors to stay in compliance with strictly enforced fire safety codes and regulations. While safety measures will vary from each building, the new fire-rated safety protocols are required for all buildings.
For older buildings that are not up to code, it is imperative to do your research and update your building to fire safety regulations. If you aren’t sure if your building is or not, reach out to a local rep to inspect your system and give you an estimate on getting your building up to code.
Access doors should be inspected annually along with your fire dampers to ensure they are working correctly. If they fail inspection or are damaged in any way, they should be replaced immediately to ensure they will work as expected in the event of a fire.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing an Access Door
Access doors come in several shapes and sizes allowing you to fit them in any space in your home. You can choose between a square, rectangular, or round door to fit your needs. By providing several options, your space is still accessible while remaining secure.
Installing these doors isn’t one-size-fits-all. Based on your needs and preferences, you can choose the ideal location for the doors in your space. If you are unsure where to place them, reach out to one of our local reps! They will visit your building and provide recommendations.
If you’ve had fire dampers installed in your unit, consider adding a fire-rated door to the area. Having proper fire safety measures in place provides added peace of mind in the event of an emergency. In addition, by preventing access to your HVAC system using fire-rated doors, you are taking precautions to prevent the fire from spreading and protect essential systems from being damaged.
Choosing Lloyd Industries for Your Access Door Needs
Lloyd Industries has been an active manufacturer of access doors for the past 35 years. It has continued to stay relevant in the field by providing all types of standard and fire-rated doors. In addition, Lloyd Industries provides top-tier customer satisfaction for all its products.
Lloyd Industries Products
Lloyd Industries access doors are designed to provide easy ductwork entry to allow access to fire products. By manufacturing non-fire-rated doors as well as 1.5-hour fire-rated doors, there is something for everyone. Doors come hinged or double cammed in galvanized or stainless steel. Lloyd Industries also offers custom sizing and viewports that are available for specialized situations.
The stainless-steel doors are used primarily for entry into ductwork to access your fire products. The door can be specially designed and built for your needs and are up to code to ensure proper safety and meet building regulations.
If you know the type of door you are looking for, reach out to us for a quote. Otherwise, visit our site to schedule a visit with a local rep. They will be able to answer all your questions and assist you in placing a specialized order that will suit all your needs.
Access doors are critical for creating a safe space for your staff to work. While they are often overlooked compared to other HVAC fire safety products such as fire dampers, they play a crucial part in your building’s fire safety plan!