Electrical systems installed in buildings can be complex and this complexity only increases the possibility of a short circuit. Short circuit is the leading cause of fire break outs in commercial and resident spaces. No matter how sophisticated an electrical system is, a small rat in the wrong place is enough to engulf a building in flames.
It is difficult to create a condition where fire can never break out because inflammable things are being used all around us. However, we do have the ability to prevent a fire from spreading and taking measures to ensure that a fire is controlled before it causes a lot of damage.
It is therefore necessary that any premise, whether used for work or as residence should be well equipped to fight fire and all fire safety gears should be in their proper place. Despite the damages caused by fire there is not enough emphasis on fire safety.
Any fire protection system consists of two types of elements, passive elements and active elements. Passive elements are those that do not fight fire but prevent it from spreading. Fire doors are an excellent example of a passive fire protection system. Any premise should have both the passive and active fire safety elements.
Features of Fire Doors
Fire doors are an important requirement in any situation that in which fire can spread rapidly. Examples of such a situation includes flats, doors that lead to an integrated garage or those leading to an isolated room built exactly under the roof.
The most obvious benefit of using fire doors in such situations is that fire is prevented from spreading to corners of the house or office that are likely to suffer a lot of damage from fire. For example banks have locker rooms that need to be safeguarded against fire. In offices or homes, the occupants of those rooms that are protected by fire doors get some valuable time to figure out an escape route which can be lifesaving in such situations.
Along with fire doors, efforts are being taken to design and use certain types of materials for entrances, walls, ceilings and exits that are more tolerant of fire so that they can put up some resistance before giving in.
A fire door in normal conditions is just like any other door but in the event of a fire breaking out it provides protection that is unlike any other door. It can protect lives and offers protection to the section of the building that has not been exposed to fire.
- What is different about fire doors?
Fire doors cannot hold fire entirely but can withstand it for a period of time that can usually last up to 30 minutes. It is sufficient to give the inhabitants time to plan their escape and save their lives. Fire doors have a special core that is made up of a material that is slow to burn. It can be a solid construction, flax board or a wood composite material. There are several seals that can be fitted into the frame or door and prevent the fire from spreading around.
- When is a fire door required?
Fire doors are primarily required in commercial buildings such as offices and hotels but they are also of great use in domestic homes. One should also check their building regulations to verify whether use of fire doors is mandatory or not. Most of the fire doors are fitted internally but in certain situations they need to be used externally such as in a sheltered passageway.
- What are the various styles in which fire doors are available?
Like composite and uPVC doors, fire doors are also available in a variety of style, colour and designs. There are also many options for finishing and glazing. The fire doors are commonly sold as an entire set which includes a frame and the necessary ironmongery. Its basic function is to hold the door in its place when a fire breaks out.
- Is the installation of fire door any different from regular doors?
The fitting of a fire door is extremely important as it is a lifesaving product. If it is not fitted properly it will not be able to hold the fire and as a result it can spread. Generally the fitting instructions are provided with the door and these instructions should be followed while installation. Also it is important to use elements that are compatible with the door design including the ironmongery and correct seals.
- Testing of Fire Doors
The fire door specialists need to perform several checks to ensure that their doors are actually able to withstand fire for the specified amount of time. The door is installed in a furnace and it is subjected to flames. When the door passes this test it is approved for sale.
Thus installing fire doors can be a great way to control fire. They give us those precious few minutes in which we can think of ways to escape the burning premises.