Fire doors are an integral part of a building’s defense against a fire outbreak. As a passive fire protection system component, fire doors are essential for public buildings, offices, and factories. However, no fire door can save you from a blaze if it does not work properly. Thus, fire door maintenance is crucial in ensuring the building you work in is safe from fire hazards. And since a fire breakout is unpredictable, it is essential to ensure that your fire doors can serve their intended purpose — to protect lives.
Fire Doors Are Different From Standard Doors
Fire doors are made of slow-to-burn materials, such as flax board or wood composite. They can withstand fire spread for at least 30 minutes. The components of a fire door, such as hinges, handles, and panels, all conform to safety standards. They are combined with special seals fitted into the door frame upon installation. As a result, fire doors can contain fire and smoke to give people enough breathing room while exiting the building.
When put strategically throughout the building, fire doors can slow the spread of fire. Because of that, firefighters will have a significant amount of time to execute their plans. Some steel fire doors are even known to withstand blazes for up to 4 hours. Aside from saving lives, fire doors can minimize the overall damage to your property.
The Importance of Fire Door Maintenance
The quality of door installation services is a critical factor in a fire door’s performance in the event of a fire. However, carrying out regular maintenance is just as essential to ensure that a fire door is always in good working condition. Commercial fire doors and their components are subjected to annual inspections. However, having a trained employee perform a monthly or bi-monthly inspection on your fire doors is best.
If you are apprehensive about performing the door maintenance yourself, you can sign up for regular maintenance service and let the professionals handle the upkeep of your fire doors. Aside from door repair service, regular maintenance is often part of fire door contractors’ services. Retaining the services of a fire door contractor ensures that your doors are compliant with fire door inspection requirements and will pass the mandated annual inspection.
How to Perform Fire Door Maintenance
Unfortunately, fire doors are probably the most neglected component of the passive fire protection system. Some facility managers assume that a fire door is functioning properly just because it has no broken or missing parts. However, a fire door’s hinges, handles, and closing mechanisms should all be in perfect working order, or the door will fail during a fire.
To ensure fire safety, fire doors are designed to self-close after a person passes through them. So it would help if you kept them close until anyone used them. If the door is wedged or propped open for some reason, fire will instantaneously break through the gap between the door and its frame. Furthermore, some doors make use of unapproved hardware, such as kick-down door stoppers. These are not safe nor fire code compliant.
An ounce of proactive maintenance goes a long way when it comes to your building’s fire protection equipment. For example, in case of a fire breakout, fire doors and components maintained throughout the year will enable a smooth and successful evacuation.
For a fire door to function well, your installer must install and maintain it properly. If you are looking for a door repair Washington DC company to take care of your fire door maintenance needs, contact MacArthur Locks & Doors. We offer fire door inspection and door replacement services to help ensure you and your building remain compliant. Call us for further details and advice on fire door maintenance, compliance, and door installation Washington DC.