You pay attention to every detail to achieve your dream home goals. From furniture to paint and architecture, you consider all the necessary things. But do you consider fire safety? Many homeowners overlook some vital fire safety gadgets and regulations, which may lead to serious consequences when a mishap happens. A fire door is one of the essential parts of fire safety regulations that shouldn't be overlooked. Fire doors are necessary to ensure minimum possible damage to both property and lives during a fire outbreak. You can either install fire doors with glass or ordinary fire doors. However, you also need to follow all regulations to get the utmost safety with fire doors.
Well, the list of fire door regulations is quite long, and it isn't easy to learn and comply with all. So, here we have decided to help you know key fire door regulations that you should always keep in mind and comply. With these regulations, you can ensure the best safety of occupants and less possible damage during a fire.
1. Fire Door Ratings
Ratings play an essential role when selecting a fire door. These ratings measure the amount of time that a fire door is able to prevent the spread of fire. For instance, a fire door with a two-hour rating can be expected to avert fire for two hours. Usually, fire ratings can range from 20 minutes to three hours. However, the 20-minute fire doors are designed to block smoke rather than flames. You can either consider the fd30 fire door or door with a better rating to ensure minimum fire spread and damage. Generally, the ratings required for the type of door in the building are set by building codes or a fire marshal.
2. Door and Frames
The type of door and frames material are important to consider when installing fire doors. If you are using wooden fire doors, ensure they have mineral cores or solid wood. And if you are using steel doors, check for the honeycombed or insulated cores. Also, make sure the doors are manufactured at the factory so there will be a correct inch of clearance ( i.e. not more than three-quarters) between the finished floor and the bottom of the door.
Moreover, holes more than 1 inch in diameter may not be drilled without validating the fire rating. Also, the door frames must be prepared at the factory from at least 16-gauge steel. Besides this, you must equip Paris doors with an overlapping seam, astragal, or moulding.
3. Fail-Secures and Fail-Safes
The fire doors should be self-latching and self-closing for improved safety. In the event of a fire, the doors should close and latch without human help. For this, you can use a spring or closer hinge and exit device or a fire-rated lockset.
Moreover, fire doors should never be set open with a doorstop or any tool other than a magnetic hold. This magnetic hold must be attached to the fire alarm to close the door automatically during a fire event. Also, if you are using electric locks, ensure they are fail-safe and not fail-secure. This means, during a fire event, the fire doors will unlock automatically to save occupants rather than remaining locked to protect property.
4. Windows and Louvres
If you don't want to install just fire doors, you can consider adding louvres. However, the louvres must be labelled by a certified company and must have fusible links for self-closing to restrict smoke from spreading. Also, glass windows are allowed on fire doors, but they should not be used together with louvres.
If you are using doors with a 45-minute rating, you can use glass up to 1,296 square inches. For the FD90 fire door, you can use glass up to 100 square inches. Remember that fire doors with a three-hour rating can't have glass windows.
5. Installation and Testing
Though you can install fire doors on your own with the help of manual, it is recommended to seek professional help for perfect installation and avoid any glitches. Also, the fire doors and frames should be tested and must include labels indicating their fulfilment of all testing requirements. These labels must be provided by a certified testing company and maybe mechanically fastened or embossed. Make sure the labels show the door's duration, such as 60 minutes, and they should not be obscured or painted over.
Additional Fire Door Regulations to Follow
- Fire doors must also comply with disability access regulations.
- The building owner must have appointed a 'Responsible Person' to check the proper functioning of doors and manage risk assessments.
- Fire doors should also meet smoke detection regulations as systems are often integrated.
- Fire doors must provide the same fire resistance and standards as walls and floors.
On a Final Note!
While these were some most important fire door regulations, you should also try learning and complying with all other regulations to be on the safest side. Amongst many aspects, fire rating is a crucial one that should not be ignored. Consider installing the fire door with an appropriate fire rating, such as fd30, fd60 or fd90. If you are not aware of fire doors and their ratings, it is wise to consult with a professional.