Installing fire doors in your commercial building is a must. Not only are fire doors required in certain areas to stay in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, but they provide important safety benefits for your building, protecting fire from destroying property. And, of course, they preserve the lives of everyone inside.
But the question often arises一how much can I customize my fire-rated door? The concern springs from the fear that by customizing a fire door, you may undercut the door’s fire rating, which can put you at increased risk of fire damage and fines during inspections.
This fear is reasonable. All fire doors need to meet regulations set out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which addresses materials, construction, and installation. Any changes that you make to a door can potentially compromise the door’s ability to prevent the spread of flames and smoke.
But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have options when it comes to fire doors. There are many ways for you to customize fire doors for your specific needs, allowing you to find the perfect door for every situation. While there are some limitations on changes you can make, you can still make plenty of modifications to suit your fire doors to your needs.
Types of Fire Doors
You can typically find fire doors made of either wood or steel. While wooden doors can be rated to withstand fire for up to 90 minutes, you can’t beat the durability of a steel fire door, which you can purchase with fire ratings of up to three hours.
Fire doors can be installed either as single or double doors, in widths from 24 inches to 48 inches and up to 8 feet in height. Steel doors come painted with a gray primer intended to stop rust, while wood doors are usually varnished. In either case, you can apply your own finish once the door is hung using regular paint since the fireproofing is internal to the door itself.
Glass Kits for Fire Doors
While most people think of fire doors as heavy and imposing, that doesn’t have to be the case. Many fire doors can be made much more appealing by adding a window constructed with fireproof glass.
While glass itself is technically fire-resistant, the glass installed in fire door window kits undergoes further fireproofing to meet fire code requirements. There are a number of different types of glass available, including:
Adding glass to a fire door can afford you several additional benefits. When added to exterior doors, windows make an entry more inviting while giving those inside the building better visibility to see who is trying to come inside.
Windows also provide visibility in the case of a fire, making it easier to escape. Finally, windows can help admit light to rooms that otherwise might be too dark, helping add some brightness to an otherwise drab area.
Adding Fusible Link Louvers to Your Fire Door
When you have an area that needs to be secured and requires additional airflow, your best bet is to install a louver. However, when that door needs to be fire-rated, you can still install a particular type of louver, known as a fusible link louver.
Fusible links are simple devices attached to a louver that move in response to heat. As the fusible link in a fire door louver begins to heat up, it slowly closes the louver, creating a fireproof seal that will remain closed.
It is essential to be aware that fusible link louvers are only rated up to 90 minutes at most and must be installed in fireproof doors with a rating of at least 20 minutes.
If you’re considering installing new fire doors in your commercial property, contact the experts at CDF Distributors. With our easily customizable quotes and rapid delivery anywhere in the country, you can rest assured that you’ll get the door you need when you need it. And with no minimums to qualify for delivery, you’ll only buy what you need.
Once you partner with CDF Distributors or talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable reps, you’ll be showing other companies the door.