Fire ratings are a crucial consideration when choosing commercial doors for any facility. Given the catastrophic consequences of fire emergencies, ensuring a structure complies with all fire safety regulations is crucial. Business owners need to be aware of fire ratings for commercial doors to guarantee their effectiveness. So, let us discuss fire ratings and why they are important when choosing a commercial door. We will also discuss the different available ratings and what factors to consider when choosing one.

Fire Ratings for Commercial Doors

Fire ratings for doors are based on how well they can resist fire and prevent the spread of flames and smoke. Hours are used to measure how long a door can withstand fires. For example, a door with a fire rating of one hour can keep flames and heat out for at least one hour. These ratings result from a set of tests that assess the door’s performance.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) are the two most popular fire rating systems for commercial doors. UL fire ratings are based on four key criteria: resistance to fire, resistance to smoke, resistance to hose streams, and resistance to impact. The NFPA rating system is similar to the UL rating system, but it also has a group for fire barrier doors, which are used to divide fire zones inside a building.

Commercial doors with fire ratings

Different Types of Fire Ratings

Hour rating

Hour rating is the most popular fire rating test, showing how long the door can stand up to fire in hours. The most popular hour ratings are 20 minutes, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes respectively.

Letter rating

This rating type shows how well the door stops smoke from getting out. There are four letter grades: A, B, C, and D, with A being the best grade and D the worst.

Hose stream rating

This rating shows how well a door can handle water from a fire hose. There are three water flow levels on a hose: 15, 30, and 60, with 60 being the best.

Impact rating

This rating shows how well a door can handle being hit by a heavy item or piece of debris in a fire. According to commercial door contractors, the best impact grade is I, and II is the next best.

In addition to these ratings, fire-rated doors also have a code that tells you what kind of door it is, who made it, and what its fire rating is. For example, a door with a B letter rating and a fire rating of 60 minutes would have an “FD60B” label. Fire-rated doors are not fireproof, so that is something to remember. In a fire, they will ultimately fail, but they will buy people time to get out of the building.

Factors That Affect Fire Rating

A commercial door’s fire rating is based on several things, including:

The materials used in the door

Manufacturers produce most fire-resistant doors using steel, wood, or a combination of both. Note that steel doors do not catch fire as easily as wood or plastic.

Commercial doors with fire ratings

The construction of the door

The door’s construction also determines its fire rating. For instance, solid-core doors are less likely to catch fire than hollow-core doors. Doors with intumescent seals are also less likely to catch fire. During a fire, the seals expand to fill the spaces around the door and stop flames from spreading.

The thickness of the door

The thicker the door, the better it will be against fire.

The door’s hardware

The door’s hinges, latch, and other hardware also affect its fire rating. Fire-rated hardware is made to handle high temperatures and keep the door from opening in case of a fire.

The door’s location

Where the door is in the building also affects the fire rating. Doors in places that are more likely to catch on fire, like exit stairwells, will usually have a higher fire rating than doors in less dangerous places.

Commercial Door Installers Near Me

Are you looking for a reliable commercial door repair and installation company in the DMV area? If so, look no further than MacArthur Locks & Doors! Our technicians are experts in all types of commercial doors, including commercial fire door products. We are also certified to install and fix fire doors, so you can be sure that your doors are up to code. 

So choose fire-rated doors carefully to help keep your tenants and property safe in case of a fire. If you need industrial door installation or repair in the DMV area, please call us at (202) 760-4589 today.

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