Friday 7/3/2020 By Alyssa

What is a fire-rated door and do you need one?

A fire-rated door is a specially constructed door designed to slow or prevent the spread of fire and smoke. It is a heavy door made of materials like metal or gypsum. When installed properly, it is not supposed to combust during a certain time frame (standard ratings include 20 to 90 minute doors) during the average fire.  They are more common in commercial buildings but are used in residential buildings for entryways, garage, and multi-family homes.
Fire-rated doors can help buy you some time to exit your home. The slow or prevent the spread of fire and smoke but are not completely proof. They may also help to protect property and personal assets while firefighters work to extinguish the fire.
A fire rating does not guarantee the amount of time a door can withstand a fire. The rating is based on a brand new door in a controlled test environment. Real world factors, such as heat intensity, can reduce this estimate. Also, if the door is propped open, has any gaps, or has a faulty closing mechanism, it won’t do you any good.
Fire doors can give you peace of mind, but properly using the doors you already have, such as simply closing them, will slow or prevent the heat and smoke from entering the rooms and injuring you or destroying additional property. Fire-rated doors are required on residential buildings between the garage and living space.