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What is a fire-rated door?

A fire-rated door is a door that has been tested and certified to meet specific standards for its ability to resist the spread of fire and smoke for a designated period of time. These doors are an essential component of fire protection systems in buildings and are designed to compartmentalize fire and smoke, allowing occupants more time to evacuate and limiting the spread of the fire to other areas of the building.

FIRELOCK® is the Lehigh Valley’s provider of fireproof modular vaults featuring the highest-rated fire-rated doors.

Fire-rated doors are constructed using special materials and design features that enhance their fire resistance properties. Some common features of fire-rated doors include:

    • Fire-resistant core The core of the door is often made from fire-resistant materials such as mineral cores or vermiculite boards, that are designed to resist the effects of heat and flames.
    • Intumescent seals These are seals around the edges of the door that expand when exposed to heat, effectively sealing the gap between the door and the door frame. These help prevent the passage of smoke and flames.
    • Heavy-duty hardware Fire-rated doors are equipped with hardware designed to withstand the high temperatures and stresses of a fire. This includes hinges, locks, and closers that are specifically tested for fire resistance.
    • Glazing If the door has windows or glass panels, the glazing used is specially designed to resist the spread of fire and smoke. Fire-rated glass may have multiple layers and intumescent interlayers.

    Fire-rated doors are given a fire-resistance rating that indicates the amount of time the door can withstand exposure to fire and still maintain its structural integrity. Common fire resistance ratings for doors include 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. The rating is determined through standardized fire testing procedures, where the door is subjected to controlled fire conditions and its performance is evaluated.

    These doors are typically installed in areas where fire protection is crucial, such as stairwells, corridors, fire exits, and rooms containing flammable materials or equipment. FIRELOCK® fireproof modular vaults use fire-rated doors to protect your valuables, documents, historical records, data archives, server rooms, and anything else you deem valuable. Building codes and regulations often dictate where fire-rated doors are required and what their specific fire resistance ratings should be based on the building’s occupancy, use, and other factors.

    FIRELOCK ® manufactures fire-rated doors that comply with a 1-hour, 2-hour, 4-hour, and 6-hour UL Rated Class 350 rating. Getting a quote for your project is easy—simply click here and fill out the form.

    What makes a fire-rated door high quality?

    A high-quality fire-rated door possesses several key characteristics that contribute to its effectiveness in providing fire protection, safety, and durability. Here are some factors that make a high-quality fire-rated door.

    • Fire resistance rating A high-quality fire-rated door meets or exceeds the specified fire resistance rating. It has been rigorously tested and certified by relevant authorities to maintain its structural integrity and prevent the passage of fire and smoke for the designated period, whether it’s 20 minutes or several hours.
    • Certification and testing The door should have undergone standardized fire testing procedures conducted by recognized testing laboratories. Certification from reputable organizations ensures that the door has met stringent fire safety standards.
    • Construction materials High-quality fire-rated doors are constructed using fire-resistant materials such as mineral cores, vermiculite boards, and other specialized components. These materials are chosen for their ability to withstand high temperatures and resist the effects of fire.
    • Intumescent seals Intumescent seals expand when exposed to heat, creating a tight seal between the door and the frame. This feature is critical for preventing the passage of smoke and flames around the edges of the door.
    • Hardware Fire-rated doors are equipped with high-quality hardware that has been tested to withstand the demands of fire conditions. This includes hinges, locks, closers, and other components.
    • Glazing If the door contains windows or glass panels, the glazing should be fire-rated and designed to maintain its integrity under fire conditions.
    • Installation Proper installation is crucial for the door’s effectiveness. A high-quality fire-rated door should be installed by experienced professionals who follow manufacturer’s guidelines and adhere to building codes.
    • Durability The door should be designed to withstand wear and tear over time, as well as the stresses of everyday use. This includes resistance to corrosion, impact, and other factors that can affect the door’s performance.
    • Design and aesthetics While functionality is paramount, high-quality fire-rated doors can also offer aesthetic appeal. Some doors come in various finishes, styles, and designs to blend seamlessly with the overall building design.
    • Compliance with regulations A high-quality fire-rated door should meet all relevant building codes, regulations, and safety standards in the specific region where it is installed.
    • Manufacturer reputation Choose doors from reputable manufacturers known for producing reliable and tested fire-rated products, such as FIRELOCK® in the Lehigh Valley.
    • Regular maintenance Ensuring the ongoing functionality of a fire-rated door involves proper maintenance and regular inspections to address any issues that might compromise its performance.

    In summary, a high-quality fire-rated door is one that has been designed, manufactured, tested, and certified to offer reliable fire protection while meeting or exceeding industry standards and regulations. It’s crucial to work with experienced professionals when selecting, installing, and maintaining fire-rated doors to ensure the safety and protection of occupants and property.

    About Firelock

    Since 1982, FIRELOCK® has been the world’s leading manufacturer of media-rated modular vault chambers. Unlike poured-in-place concrete vaults, FIRELOCK® vaults are constructed from individual panels, filled with a heat-resistant ceramic material, and they are lightweight, movable, and expandable. When combined with current high-density storage systems, FIRELOCK® vaults offer extremely high space efficiency at a considerable cost advantage per cubic foot of storage. The value of assets stored in FIRELOCK® vaults today reaches hundreds of billions of dollars and ranges from priceless animation cells and World Wrestling Entertainment videos to pharmaceutical research records and U.S. Department of Education student loan information.

    With a FIRELOCK® vault, you invest in the highest-performing vault on the market today to ensure the protection of your most vital records and irreplaceable items. You gain the ability to store microfilm, computer media, file servers, and paper in one location, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all the environmental- and fire-protection elements are in place.

    FIRELOCK® has been in business since 1982, and we have installed over 2000 vaults around the world. Because of this broad experience, we know how to build a vault that will provide you with maximum protection today and that has the flexibility to grow with you over time.