What Is A Fire-Rated Door And Do You Need One?

What Is A Fire-Rated Door And Do You Need One?

Date:May 19, 2020

In 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to 1,319,500 fires. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a U.S. fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds. There were 499,000 structure fires, and 72 percent of those structure fires occurred in home structures. Also, of the 3,400 civilian fire deaths in 2017, 77 percent occurred in home structures.

Could fire-rated doors help reduce the loss of life and property in residential settings? Here’s what you need to know about them.

What is a fire-rated door?

A fire-rated door — or fire-resistant door — is specially constructed to slow or prevent the spread of fire and smoke, according to Ken Canziani, Senior Fire Investigator at EFI Global in Sacramento, CA.

“A fire-rated door is a very heavy door made of materials like metal or gypsum,” Canziani explains. “The term ‘fire-rated’ means that the door, when installed properly, is not supposed to combust during a certain time frame in the average fire.” While time ratings vary, he says standard ratings include 20- to 90-minute doors.

Fire-rated doors are more common in commercial buildings than in residential structures. “Fire-rated doors are often installed in public buildings, in office buildings and in places like dormitories,” Canziani says.

Typical residential applications include installation in entryways, garages and multi-family homes.


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