Chances are you might have heard about fireproof doors. Especially if you are looking for an extra protection and security measures. So what is a fire-resistant door and how is it different from regular one? In this article we are providing you with all the answers you are looking for and even those you probably have not thought of yet but do need to know.
Fireproof or fire-resistant doors are the doors specifically made to withstand the damaging effects of high temperatures (i.e. house fires). They are also designed to protect against the harmful impact of smoke, which is one of the main reasons of human deaths and casualties in cases of home fires. Fireproof doors have specific fire resistance ratings, which show what level of fire exposure they are capable to take on and for how long.
Here are the most important facts you should know about these doors if you would like to buy one of simply interested in the topic.
1. What are fire proof doors made of
Depending on the fire-resistance level needed these doors are made of various durable materials.
The most common are:
It does not mean that a fireproof door is made only from one material. Very often, it is a mix of a couple of components. In addition to substances listed above these doors can be reinforced with vermiculite, aluminum elements and zinc coating.
A very important part of the fireproof door set is its seal. Also called intumescent strip – this is a piece of material that covers the doorway and expands when heated. This expenditure works as a block against fire and smoke by eliminating the gap between the door and its frame.
2. How much does a fire resistant door cost?
The price of a fireproof door depends on 4 main points:
- The material it is built from
- The fire-resistance rating it provides
- The overall product design
- The manufacturer
Typically, the higher fire-rated doors cost more as they give better protection and last longer. However, any given manufacturer can set a higher price if they think their doors have additional features or use a specific combination of materials, or have a more appealing design.
To give you a better understanding of cost range here are couple of examples:
- Solid Steel door with 1.5 hour rating: $400
- Solid Timber door with 30 Minutes rating: $140
Don’t forget that fireproof doors also require proper installation. If done wrong the fire rating stated for the product may be compromised and cannot be fully relied on. The installation is usually done by a carpenter or a trained specialist. So you should add the cost of installation as well. The price tag normally starts at $500.
3. Fireproof door ratings explained
Different doors provide different protection and resistance. Depending on what country you live in or where you buy the door from the rating is given by an appropriate regulating and testing company. USA and EU have their own fire test standards, which must be met by certified manufacturers. This certification is the direct indication of what you can expect from the specific door.
So when you are looking at a particular model always check what rating it has and who certified it. For example in USA you will most likely see the rating approved by UL company. If you would like to know more about UL you can read about them in this post
The rating for fireproof door is given in minutes – 30, 60, 90, 120. As you probably have already guessed the number of minutes means how long it can resist fire. So if you live in EU or UK you will see labels like FD30, FD60, FD90 etc. If you live in USA you will see a fire rating label like – 0.5 hour, 1 hour, 2 hour etc.
Heavy duty steel doors normally provide higher fire rating – up to 4 hours. Timber doors bear lower ratings: usually 20-60 minutes.
Important note: The door itself and its connected parts (an intumescent strip for example) have independent ratings as they are made of different materials.
4. What is the best fireproof door
This, of course, depends on what kind of door you need. If you are looking for a maximum level of fire resistance you should consider purchasing the one with the higher fire rating. Today manufacturers offer various design lines and finding the right one is totally up to personal preferences and aesthetic appeal. If you think that 4 hours rating is not what you might need – choose from wooden model lineup. While being less durable they still provide an effective and considerable safety option.
In any case, even the simplest of fireproof doors will give you a better defense in case of fire emergency.
Fire doors are a modern way of getting additional safeguard option for fire emergencies. With years many manufacturers perfected the production techniques and improves on overall design elements. In addition, we can see new features being added regularly as well. All this increases the available model lineup and diversifies the price range. Of course, this is win-win situations for customers.
If you would like to make your home a safer place, a fire door is definitely a worth buy.