Skip to content
Home » Case Studies » Who Determines the Fire Rating of a Fire-Rated Door?

Who Determines the Fire Rating of a Fire-Rated Door?

fire door testing

The fire rating for a fire-rated door is determined by a series of standardized fire tests conducted by accredited testing laboratories. These tests are designed to simulate real-world fire conditions and assess the door’s performance in terms of its ability to withstand fire, heat, and smoke for a specified period of time. The process involves careful measurements and observations to ensure the door’s effectiveness in preventing the spread of fire and smoke.

The specific fire rating for a fire-rated door is established based on the results of these tests. Here’s how the process generally works.

  • Testing laboratories Accredited testing laboratories, often associated with recognized standards organizations or regulatory bodies, conduct fire tests on building materials and products, including fire-rated doors. These laboratories follow established testing protocols and guidelines to ensure consistent and reliable results.
  • Fire test procedures Fire tests for doors involve placing the door in a controlled environment where it is exposed to a standardized fire curve. The fire curve simulates the temperature rise and duration of a typical building fire. During the test, various parameters are measured, such as temperature rise, flame spread, smoke penetration, and door performance.
  • Duration and criteria The door’s performance is evaluated against specific criteria, such as temperature rise, structural integrity, and smoke penetration. The door is assigned a fire rating based on the time it successfully meets these criteria. Common fire ratings include 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes.
  • Certification and labeling Once a door successfully passes the fire tests and meets the criteria for a specific duration, it is certified as having that fire rating. The door manufacturer receives certification documents that confirm the rating. The door is then labeled with the appropriate fire rating information, along with other relevant details.
  • Regulations and codes Fire ratings for doors are often governed by building codes, regulations, and industry standards established by organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These codes provide guidelines for fire protection measures and ensure consistency in fire safety practices.

It’s important to note that fire-rated doors must be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and local building codes to maintain their intended fire resistance capabilities. FIRELOCK® has over four decades of experience in installing the safest, most effective modular vaults.

Overall, the determination of a fire rating for a fire-rated door involves a rigorous and standardized testing process conducted by accredited laboratories, which ensures the door meets specific fire safety standards and contributes to the overall fire protection of a building or valuables, documents, data, servers, and other irreplaceable items.

Firelock manufacturers 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.

Does the government set fire-rating requirements for fire-rated doors?

Yes, governments often set fire-rating requirements for fire-rated doors and other fire protection measures as part of building codes and regulations. These requirements are established to ensure the safety of occupants, limit the spread of fire, and provide guidelines for constructing and maintaining buildings in a way that minimizes fire risks.

Building codes and regulations are typically developed and enforced at various levels of government, including local, regional, and national levels. These codes outline specific requirements for different aspects of building construction, including fire protection. Fire-rated doors fall under the category of fire protection features, and their fire-rating requirements are stipulated in these codes.

For instance, building codes may specify the following aspects related to fire-rated doors.

  • Minimum fire ratings Codes often mandate minimum fire-resistance ratings for fire-rated doors based on factors such as the building’s occupancy type, size, and use. Different areas of a building may require different fire ratings based on their level of fire hazard.
  • Locations The codes may dictate where fire-rated doors are required, such as in stairwells, exit corridors, firewalls, and areas with hazardous materials.
  • Hardware and components Codes may detail the required hardware components (hinges, locks, closers, etc.) and specifications for fire-rated doors to ensure their proper operation and fire resistance.
  • Installation and maintenance Building codes usually include guidelines for proper installation, maintenance, and inspection of fire-rated doors to ensure their ongoing effectiveness.
  • Testing and certification Codes may reference standards for fire testing and certification of fire-rated doors to ensure they meet specific fire resistance criteria.

It’s important for builders, architects, designers, and other professionals involved in construction to be aware of and adhere to these codes and regulations to ensure compliance with fire safety requirements. Non-compliance with fire code requirements can result in legal consequences and compromised fire safety in buildings.

Keep in mind that building codes and regulations can vary from one jurisdiction to another, so it’s crucial to consult with local authorities and experts familiar with the specific codes applicable to your location.


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, as well as 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 the flexibility to grow with you into the future.