A door with a fire protection rating is called a fire door. It is a basic protection detail extensively used for prevention of spreading of fire and smoke in adjacent rooms, halls or cubicles. They are generally made from a combination of materials, namely:
- Vermiculite boards etc.
Among various parts of fire doors, door hardware includes:
- Gas seals
- Smoke seals
- Ball bearing hinges
- Positive latching materials
- Automatic closing devices
The fire-resisting seals used in those doors include:
- Neoprene weather-stripping
- Intumescent strip (the kind which expands in contact of heat)
Some fire doors act as windows and are not that much used for human interaction. They include:
- Ceramic glasses
- Borosilicate glasses
- Liquid sodium silicate will set in place in between two or more window panes
- Georgian wired mesh glass
Fire doors generally have a very well regulated thorough design. They need to follow some particular strict specifications. As fire doors relate directly to the safety of human life, the tolerance of the specifications are kept very minimum.
Fire doors are made of some delicate materials, and, as a result, could not be installed in places where they are extensively used. Constant usage of the doors can lead to misalignment of the door panels. Any deformation, unwanted holes or lose panels can cause great damage as any of that could lead to gaps or openings to let the fire or the smoke in.
The doors are required to have product certificates. The regulations change from country to country. Like in England, fire door requirements are that the fire doors should be compatible with British standard of BS 476 Part 22 1987 test or a BS/EN 1634-1 2000 test. Or in the United States according to National Fire Protection Association or NFPA the standards are NFPA 80 or NFPA 101 of life safety codes.
Fire doors are not necessarily noncombustible. The doors are made so that a particular portion of that door gets destroyed in case of a fire hazard. That enables detection and prevention in due time.
Sometimes fire doors show some particular deformities, especially in dormitories or office buildings where a gap of a few inches can be shown in door panels. The basic problems a fire door faces are as follows:
- Missing fire door labels
- Poor clearances
- Missing fasteners
- Openings in door panels
- Faulty flush bolts
- Cheap and faulty materials used
- Jammed locks and panes
- Broken or defective hardware etc.
The visual inspections on fire doors are made in different ways. Organizations who audit the protection details of those fire doors follow a very strict checklist including eight different checkpoints. The checkpoints to check the fire doors are:
- Check door leaf for label
- Check frame for label
- Inspecting the frame (Pull side)
- Inspecting the door (Pull side)
- Inspecting vertical edges of doors
- Inspecting the frame (Push side)
- Inspecting the door (Push side)
- Inspecting hardware
Fire doors, along with fire dampers and ceiling sprinklers provide the necessary protection in modern day buildings and contribute in great deal in saving the lives of those inhabitants.