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Fire-Rated Commercial Doors: What Are the Options?

Fire exit door closing

When it comes to fire safety for your business, there are some specific regulations you will have to meet. These include installing fire-rated doors at your facility's entrance and exit points.
You will also have to install fire-rated interior doors. While these doors do have to meet certain requirements, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a style that suits your business.

Wood Doors

Most people assume they can’t use a wood door in their business since wood is a highly combustible material. It’s important to understand that a fire-rated door isn’t necessarily fireproof.
Instead, a fire-rated door slows the progress of the fire and takes a predetermined amount of time to burn. Therefore, a commercial wood door can have an excellent fire rating.
Essentially, a wood fire-rated door uses hardwood that takes longer to burn. In choosing wood, you’ll want to find doors made from ash, maple, oak, or similar types of wood. Once the doors are constructed, a fire-resistant sealant gets added to them to further enhance their protection.
The rating for any fire-rated door reveals how long it will take for a fire to burn through the door. The cost of the door is usually related to the fire rating. For example, a door with a 20-minute rating will cost less than a door that’s rated for a 90-minute burn. You can also find premium fire-rated doors that take up to three hours to burn.

Metal Doors

Another standard option is to choose fire-rated doors made from metal. Since it takes longer for fire to destroy metal, this type of door is often chosen for healthcare facilities, industrial buildings, and remote locations. Metal fire-rated doors are also commonly found in schools and government buildings.
One of the advantages of a metal door is that its surface will grow hot as a fire spreads closer to it. This temperature can help those on the opposite side of the door determine whether it will be safe to open the door. Like wood fire-rated doors, metal doors get coated with a fire-resistant sealant.
Another feature of these fire-rated doors is that there are tighter seals between the door frames and the doors. This significantly reduces the amount of air that can pass beyond the door. It also limits the exchange of smoke, helping to protect occupants from the damage caused by smoke inhalation.

Steel Doors

It’s important to know that steel is a type of metal, but not all metal doors are steel. Manufacturers construct building metals from a composite of a few different materials, while steel is an alloy derived from iron and carbon.
Constructing steel objects, such as doors, requires a simple and less costly process. As such, you can get a steel door with a higher fire rating and a lower cost.
When you choose a steel fire-rated door, you can also choose to have a pane of glass installed. Adding a small window can help you add light to a room, and it will make it possible to see what’s on the opposite side of the door.
A window will not compromise the level of safety offered by a steel fire-rated door. Manufacturers use insulated fire-rated glass. You can tell that the glass is fire-rated by observing the crisscrossed wires running across the pane.

Customize Your Door

Even after you select the material for your commercial fire-rated doors, you can further customize them. In many cases, it may make more sense to leave the doors finished with their natural appearance. For example, a hospital or business office may want to keep things simple.
In other situations, painting a metal or steel door can add character to your business. Even some wood doors come with a variety of customization options. You should choose a color and style that reflects the impression you want your business to present.
Some businesses, such as restaurants or daycare centers, may want to add a splash of color. You can paint your doors without adversely affecting their fire rating. In fact, making the doors stand out can help people find the exit if a fire does occur.

Discover the Fire-Rated Doors We Offer

When you visit CDF Distributors online, you can explore a broad range of high-quality fire-rated doors for your business. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about fire-rated commercial doors when you contact us. Reach out to our team today.

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