Regulations for Fire Doors
As with any fire rated protection equipment, there must be regulations to ensure the safety of structures and its inhabitants. Without regulations, manufacturers could cut corners to save money or use inferior materials that could fail under intense heat. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), is the organization that sets the regulations and policies for fire rated protection equipment. They are a non-profit that was established in 1896 with the sole purpose of eliminating death, injury, property, or economic loss due to fire, electrical, and other related hazards.
Below we talk about what a fire door is and fire door regulations.
What is a Fire Door?
A fire door is designed to keep two rooms safe from fire and smoke if one room were to be on fire. Fire doors are installed in structures throughout the world and have saved countless lives. With fire and smoke contained to just one room for a period of time, people can evacuate. The fire department has extra time to arrive and assess the situation. Fire doors must be manufactured to adhere to the NFPA’s fire door regulations.
Fire Door Ratings
A fire door rating is a number associated with the amount of time a fire door can withstand heat from a fire before failing. There are currently six levels of fire door ratings, they are 20 minutes, 1/3 hour, 3/4 hour, 1 hour, 1 1/2 hours, and 3 hours. The 20 minute rating is for fire doors that are primarily in place where smoke and drafts are the primary concern. It is acceptable for a fire door to have 3/4’s of the rating of the surrounding wall. It is also acceptable for the fire door to have a higher rating than the wall.
Temperature Rise Fire Doors
In some applications there will be a requirement for a fire door to not distribute the heat from one side of the fire door to the other. This fire door regulation is either 250 degrees Fahrenheit, 450 degrees, or 650 degrees. This temperature indicates the maximum rise above ambient temperature on the non-exposed side of the fire door during a fire. This fire door regulation is measured after the first 30 minutes of fire exposure.
Swinging Fire Door
A fire door must be self-latching and self-closing. Spring hinges or a listed door closer will be required.
Fire Door Regulations Label
A fire door must have a label attached or embossed specifying its rating. This label must not be painted over and needs to never be removed during the fire doors lifetime.
Visit the NFPA website for all details regarding fire door regulations.