In many ways, a fire door is just like a normal door. It's usually made from a timber frame, and it serves to let people in and out of space. However, unlike a normal door, it does have special components designed to serve its purpose: keeping fires contained. Here are the 3 features that set fire doors apart from regular doors.

Glass Must Be Fire-Rated

Glazed internal doors are used in commercial buildings for a number of reasons, from increasing natural light to providing a view into neighbouring rooms. Fire doors can be glazed too, but if they are, it's crucial that the glass is fire-rated. Standard glass is not particularly adept at withstanding heat. Under fire, a typical glazed door panel will quickly shatter, giving the smoke and flames a way to escape into the neighbouring spaces. Fire-rated glass is specially made and proven to resist fire for the duration of its insulation period. Insulation periods range from around 30 minutes to 2 hours, ensuring there's time to extinguish the fire before the glass breaks.

Seals Must Be Intumescent

The typical door seal serves a variety of purposes, from conserving heat to keeping out dirt and pests. A fire door seal must do all these things and serve one more crucial purpose—preventing a fire from spreading under doors. Standard door seals can't handle this job because they don't expand when there's a fire. That's why you need intumescent door seals on a fire door. These seals swell when they're heated up, sealing the usual gap between the door and the floor securely. This prevents flames and smoke from seeping underneath the seals.

Signage Must Convey the Fire Plan

Doors in most commercial buildings have signage to indicate the type of room inside, the owner of the room or even just the room number. Fire doors need additional signage that assists the building's users in staying safe in the event of a fire. In particular, these doors need to be clearly signposted as fire doors. If they're not, people may prop them open or block them, jeopardising evacuation plans and allowing the fire to spread. At a minimum, the signage should say something along the lines of, 'Fire door. Keep shut'. Some fire door signage includes longer wording to fully convey the importance of a fire door and give users more specific instructions, such as 'do not block this door or leave it open'. Fire doors can also include additional fire safety signage, like a map of the premises and its escape route.

For more information about fire doors, reach out to a contractor.