Home > Uncategorized > Dissecting A Fire Door

Dissecting A Fire Door

The primary reason for installing fire doors in a  building, besides satisfying fire code, is to save the lives of all building occupants, preserve the property within that building and to permit fire  fighters to do their job.  Fire doors are part of what is commonly known as a building’s passive fire protection system.  They have different ratings to identify the length of time any given door will expectantly withstand fire.  For Example, an FD30 door is certified to withstand the heat of a fire for approximately 30 minutes.  An FD20 for 20 minutes and an FD60 for one hour.

Fire doors are usually thicker than standard doors and are most commonly used in commercial settings.  Built with a solid core with materials such as: particle board, chipboard, flaxboard or even solid timber. There are no guidelines which dictate what these doors are constructed of.  As long as the  desired fire rating is attained, the door can be sold and used.

intumescent strips

One of the requirements that a fire door must meet is insuring that the door leaf freely swings within its frame.  To achieve this, the door is constructed so that there is a gap around the perimeter.  This could potentially compromise the door’s successful restriction of a spreading fire. To avoid failure at what probably would be a most inopportune time, intumescent seals are fitted to each fire door.  Those of you in the industry know how this thin little strip works but should some of our readers not come from within the industry I’ll shed a little light here.

An intumescent is a substance that swells during heat exposure.  Much like spray insulation, it increases in volume while decreasing in density as the temperature rises.  These intumescent strips expand and seal the required gap between the door edge and the frame.  They are usually tucked away inside the door frame or door edge where they are not visible and do not detract from the appearance of the door.

For more information about Fire Doors or to meet with a Specified Building Products team member you may call our office at (877) 903-9090




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