Protecting your space: What you need to know about doors and fire

fire door

From a young age, fire educators teach us that closed doors are safer than open doors when it comes to protecting citizens and safety crews from active fire situations. However, not every door is created equal in terms of fire protection – doors that offer more protection specific to fire situations are known as fire-rated doors. According to the International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference, fire-rated doors are specially made doors that are, “tested against the elements and purpose-built to withstand roaring fires for as long as possible.”

Fire-rated doors are not only essential for commercial buildings and structures (like hotels and corporate businesses) but can also be found on the top of many homeowners’ priority lists. If looking to install fire-rated doors in your home, it is recommended to install the doors where fire risk is most imminent – a garage or kitchen, for example.

Fire-rated doors come in many wood choices and minute ratings. Whether you are purchasing for a business or considering fire-rated doors for your home, it is important to understand your options so you can make an educated decision.

Fire-rated doors come in many styles such as craftsman, rustic, contemporary, and more. The choice of style can make a big impact on how seamless the door fits in with the rest of your home or business. Door manufacturers, such as ETO doors, offer on-trend styles to match the rest of their door choices. Outside of very special fire needs, there is no reason to sacrifice style or consistency in your home or office when choosing the right style of fire-rated door.

Many wood choices are also available when selecting a fire-rated door. Home and business owners can choose from a variety of wood species to ensure the door matches the rest of the space’s style.

From mahogany and fir to walnut and red oak, the material choice of a fire-rated door has a lot to do with the minute rating of the door. A fire-rated door’s minute rating is equal to the amount of time the door, when closed, can offer protection once smoke is detected.

Fire-rated doors can offer 20, 45, 60, 90 or 180 minutes of protection. Many wooden doors have between a 20 and 60-minute fire rating, meaning they can offer fire crews and other innocent citizens at least 20 to 60 minutes of protection during an active fire situation. Unlike standard fire-rated doors that feature hollow metal frames, selecting an on-trend style and wood choice can give the fire protection needed while still fitting the aesthetic of the space.

If you plan to purchase fire-rated doors for business purposes, there are likely strict regulations to follow to ensure the doors withstand certain heats based on provided guidelines. From a protection standpoint, fire-rated doors can also provide a massive advantage to private homeowners when and if a fire situation occurs.

In 2018 alone, United States Fire Departments responded to over 1.3 million fires. Of those fires, nearly 4,000 citizens lost their lives, coupled with an estimated $25.6B in direct property loss. Although fire-rated doors are more common in commercial buildings than private homes, choosing a door that offers fire protection can be a decision between life and death. Keep in mind that fire-rated doors slow and prevent the spread of fire and smoke but are not designed to be completely fireproof.

The right style of fire-rated door can not only protect your business or family but can also easily fit in with the current look and feel of your space. Whatever aesthetic you prefer, there is a fire-rated door to match. Partner with the right door manufacturer to find the fire-rated door to fit your needs and provide peace of mind.