Fire doors are one of the essential safety products that should be used in all properties especially in residential apartments and public properties. Fire is one of the biggest destructive forces, it is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths all around the world.
Every year thousands of people die in fire accidents and assets worth billions are lost. This is the reason most people now prefer to use fire-resistant materials in the construction of buildings. A fire door is one such crucial fire-resistant or fireproof material that you must use.
These doors are designed to stop the spread of fire and flames to the other areas, they are meant to be kept closed in the event of a fire. When these fire-resistant doors are closed, they form a barrier that stops the spread of fire, flames, and smoke to other areas.
What Are Fire Doors?
A fire door is a complete set of door assembly which consists of door frame or casing, door leaves, threshold, hardware, seals, and all other associated items that help to resist the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire in any area.
So, fire doors do not only refer to the doors but instead to a complete installed assembly that acts as a collective barrier against fire. As per building regulations, these doors must be installed in all buildings that have three or more stories.
Purpose Of Fire Doors
The primary purpose of these doors is to stop or delay the spread of fire. This delay of time by these doors in the spread of fire is very crucial, as it helps to take corrective actions against the fire. This in turn helps to save lives and property loss in the event of a fire.
When fire doors are closed, they form a barrier against the spread of fire and smoke. And when these fire doors are opened, they provide a route of escape to the people who are caught in the unfortunate event of a fire.
Application Of Fire Doors
A fire door must be used wherever there is a risk of a fire breakout. Generally, the places with a high risk of fire are the kitchen, rooms with electrical equipment, any area with a fireplace, area which store flammable items, etc. The door openings in the staircase must also have fire doors.
One has to do a proper fire risk assessment to identify the level of fire resistance required for the fire door in a building. Also, you have to use various sets of fire doors to cover the different areas of commercial and residential buildings.
Making Of Fire Doors
A fire door is generally made of a combination of materials such as glass, aluminum, gypsum, steel, timber, GI, vermiculite, etc. Most wooden fire doors have a solid core which can be made of particleboard, chipboard, flex board, or solid timber.
The assembly of different these doors can vary greatly, some of these doors have heavy timber framing with a laminated veneer. Others have a lipping 5 to 20 mm thick around the core with veneer on top. In other cases, plywood, veneer, or MDF facing is glued on the core without framing or lippings.
Generally, a fire door has more thickness as compared to a normal door. To sum it up, we can say that there is no single perfect construction method for making a fire door, the end purpose is to achieve the desirable fire rating.
Fire Rating Of Fire Doors
Fire rating refers to the ability of the fire door to resist fire or smoke for a specified period of time at a minimum. As per British Woodworking Federation, also known as BWF, the fire rating for the fire door is specified in minutes.
The fire rating is also prefixed by the letters ‘FD’. So a fire door with a rating FD30 refers to a fire door set that offers protection for at least 30 minutes against fire. The most commonly specified integrity levels for these doors are FD30, FD60, FD90, and FD120.
The wood fire doors have ratings up to 90 minutes but metal fire doors have higher resistance and they can attain ratings in the range of three to four hours. Steel fire doors offer the highest resistance of up to four hours and as such, you can use them in high-risk environments.
Components Of Fire Door
Fire door frames are generally wooden or metal, for wooden frames hardwoods with a high density must be used.
A fire door shutter can be made up of wood, metal, or glass, shutters with high FD rating are made of steel.
Vision panels may range from a small vision panel in a door to a big glass screen for maximum light transmission and safety.
It includes panic bars, hinges, lock, coordinator, etc, all hardware should preferably be steel-based.
These can be fitted within the door frame or glued into the edges of the door, they expand and seal the gap between the door edge and the frame.
Maintenance Of Fire Doors
The fire door should get properly closed at the time of the fire to inhibit the spread of fire. This will happen only when the door closers are working properly. For better functioning, the doors should be closed daily, especially during the night when there is low building occupancy.
You should check the intumescent seals at regular intervals not greater than six months. Also, look for all the other hardware items like hinges, locks, latches, floor springs, etc, for wear over time. These items may also require occasional lubrication.
Price Of Fire Doors
The overall cost or price of a fire door depends on many factors like the size of the door, the material of the door, shutter thickness, infill material, finish, fire rating, type of hardware, the brand of the hardware, and other such factors.
For your general reference, a fire door with galvanized steel leaves, honeycomb or steel infill material, fire resistance of up to 120 minutes, and powder coat finishing can cost you around Rs. 15000/- to Rs. 20000/- per piece.