Fire doors are a crucial facet of your passive fire protection system as they reduce the spread of fire by creating a separation barrier between separate areas of a building. This allows occupants time to evacuate and provides quick and safe access to emergency services.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand the difference between fire doors so you can stay compliant and keep people and property safe.
You’ve no doubt heard the terms ‘fireproof doors’ and ‘fire-rated doors’ among others, but are they all the same thing? In short, no. But what’s the difference? Betta Fire Protection explains.
Technically, there is no such thing as a ‘fireproof door.’ This is because no material is completely impenetrable against all types of fires.
The term ‘fireproof doors’ often gets interchanged with fire-resistant and fire-rated doors, but in reality, a fireproof door doesn’t exist. But don’t worry, if you say you’re looking for a ‘fireproof door,’ our CFSP’s will know what you mean.
So what is a fire-rated door? In essence, it’s a door that is tested to specific standards and required to meet a certain level of fire resistance. The Fire Resistance Level (FRL), or fire rating as it’s better known, applies to the overall fire door assembly or system as installed, not to individual components.
Generally, when you are required to have a fire door installed, fire-rated doors are actually what you want to have. This is because a fire-rated door and all of its components, such as the frame, glass, seals and hardware, and surrounding wall material should have undergone specific testing procedures to measure its performance in a fire.
When a door is fire rated, it means that it is designed to withstand fire at a specified temperature for a certain time duration.
Fire ratings are measured in minutes and can be rated 30, 60 or 120. This rating refers to the period of time that they can resist the fire and reduce the spread of fire from one section of a building to the next. These are then grouped into three areas of assessment: Structural/Integrity/Insulation.
So a wall rated with an FRL for 120/120/120 can continue to support the floors and ceiling for 2 hours, stop the fire from passing through for 2 hours, and stop the transmission of heat through the wall for 2 hours. A fire door rated with an FRL of -/120/120 would do the same job, except a door is not required to provide any structural support, hence the dash at the start.
The important thing to remember is that a FRL is given to a correctly installed fire door meaning all components, gaps and surrounding walls must meet the standards to be effective.
If you’re not sure what you need for your building, our team can make sure you’ve not only got the right fire door installed but that it meets NSW safety standards.
Our industry experts can assist Strata Managers, Residential Apartment Owners and Business Owners in staying on top of their fire door compliance.
Discuss your fire doors needs and receive a free quote by calling Betta Fire Protection today on (02) 8669 9100.