Fire doors are an important component of your passive fire protection system because they prevent the spread of fire by forming a barrier between different areas of a building. This gives occupants enough time to evacuate and allows for quick and safe access to emergency services.
Keeping this in mind, it’s critical to understand the differences between fire doors in order to remain compliant and keep people and property safe.
You’ve probably heard the terms ‘fireproof doors,’ ‘fire-rated doors,’ and so on, but are they all interchangeable? In a nutshell, no. But what’s the distinction?
There is no such thing as a ‘fireproof door,’ because no material is completely impervious to all types of fires.
The terms “fireproof doors” and “fire-resistant doors” are frequently used interchangeably, but a fireproof door does not exist. But don’t worry, if you say you want a ‘fireproof door,’ our fire safety experts at CFP will understand.
So, what exactly is a fire-rated door? It is, in essence, a door that has been tested to specific standards and must meet a certain level of fire resistance. The Fire Resistance Level (FRL), also known as a fire rating, refers to the overall fire door assembly or system as installed, rather than individual components.
In general, when a fire door is required, fire-rated doors are what you want to have installed. This is due to the fact that a fire-rated door and all of its components, such as the frame, glass, seals and hardware, and surrounding wall material, should have gone through specific testing procedures to determine their performance in a fire.
When a door is fire rated, it means that it is built to withstand a fire at a specific temperature for a set period of time.
Fire ratings are given in minutes and can range from 30, 60, or 120. This rating refers to the amount of time they can withstand fire and prevent it from spreading from one section of a building to another. These are then divided into three assessment categories: structural, integrity, and insulation.
So a wall with a FRL of 120/120/120 can support the floors and ceiling for 2 hours, stop the fire from passing through for 2 hours, and stop heat transmission through the wall for 2 hours. A fire door with a FRL of -/120/120 would perform the same function, except that a door is not required to provide structural support, hence the dash at the beginning.
The important thing to remember is that a FRL is awarded to a properly installed fire door, which means that all components, gaps, and surrounding walls must meet the standards in order for the door to be effective.
Not sure what to get for your building?
If you are unsure what you require for your building, our team can ensure that you not only have the correct fire door installed but that it also meets NSW safety standards.
Our industry experts can help Strata Managers, Residential Apartment Owners, and Business Owners keep their fire door compliance up to date.
Call CFP today to discuss your fire door requirements and receive a free quote.