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Fire Rated Doors

September 17, 2011

Not just any door can be placed in a fire rated partition, only doors that have been independently tested, so that they can keep the integrity of the the wall and keep the occupants safe. 

A fire rated door is a system that consists of not only the door, but the frame and hardware as well. Doors and frames carry UL (Underwriters Laboratory) labels indicating that they have been passed industry approved testing.

Fire rated doors, require door closers. If for example the door is in a corridor and is required to be open all the time, it should be held open by magnetic door hold openers. These are electro-magnets that in the event of a fire, electricity can be shut off, thus allowing the door to close. These hold opens can located on the adjacent wall at the top of the door, or at the floor, to hold the door in the open position.

Types:

Per the building codes, walls can be rated as high as 4 hours. A fire rated door needs to contune the rating of the wall it is in. Fire doors come in three types: 20 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes. When a rating is required beyond 90 minutes, fire shutters are used.

Glazing:

The code only allows for a certain amount of glazing in a fire rated door, typically small amounts, such as 100 square inches. In order to achieve larger amounts of glazing, a glass ceramic is required. These systems are becoming more common but are still very expensive.

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