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Fires, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes: How Your Doors Can Help Protect You

No matter where you live, there’s a natural disaster that can impact you. When considering the fearsome power of fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes, the potential for damage is immense. Protecting your building’s entryways is crucial to keeping them safe! The more your structure can withstand mother nature’s fury, the better protected your business assets are.

Under Fire

Doors play a vital role in slowing or stopping the spread of fire. Fire-resistant doors can mean the difference between a small, contained fire and one that ravages an entire office complex. They also keep smoke from pouring throughout the building. Smoke not only reduces visibility, but smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of death in fires. 

Ultimately, the point of a fire door is to buy people in the building time to evacuate and provide firefighters with a window of opportunity to extinguish the flames with the least possible damage to the structure.

Fire-rated doors are designed to withstand incredible amounts of heat. When choosing a fire-rated door, you’ll see a fire-resistance rating, typically in minutes or hours. For example, a three-hour door can hold up to three hours of fire in specific conditions. 

Believe it or not, wood fire-rated doors do exist! They’re not able to last through fire as long as their steel counterparts (about half as long), but they offer superior fire resistance to non-fire-rated doors of any type. 

Every part of the door works toward fire suppression. Hinges, latches, fire rated glass with or without wire lattice all must be able to handle the heat for the door’s rated time. The key to a fire-rated door working properly is a professional installation. If your door parts aren’t assembled carefully or the doors are poorly hung, heat and smoke can easily escape, and fire can spread. 

As a bonus, installing fire-rated doors can lower your insurance rates!

When the Earth Shakes

Earthquakes are one of the more terrifying natural disasters you might face. They strike without notice, and the ground literally gives way beneath you. So how can doors help minimize the damage and save lives? Let’s get this out of the way, the old advice of “stand in a doorway during an earthquake!” is not something you should follow. Nowadays, the guidance is to DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON

Japanese earthquake advice advocates opening a door in case the quake causes the door frames to warp and jam the door. In the U.S., this is not recommended practice. Open doors can swing and cause more injuries during violent shaking. The safest thing to do is stay away from your door during the quake! Commercial doors and frames are strong and will probably open just fine after the earthquake ends. The stronger the doors, the more likely people will be able to leave the building without finding a secondary exit.

If you’re concerned about making your doors as earthquake-proof as possible, invest in well-constructed, high-strength doors and frames.

Wind and Rain

WIth gusts that can exceed 200 miles per hour and rain measured in feet, hurricanes can devastate buildings. Doors that aren’t rated to withstand the wind and water can be blown out or let water seep in and flood the structure. Once a door is blown in, if the building hasn’t been constructed to handle high winds, the roof may be lifted off entirely.

Hurricane doors are made to handle the pressure. Generally rated in pounds per foot, hurricane doors offer different solutions depending on how severe hurricanes are in your area. If you never face hurricanes stronger than a category 2, you might not need to get the strongest possible door. Regardless of the rated strength, all hurricane doors are set in reinforced frames and are more durable than standard doors.

Protection from rain is also something your hurricane doors should provide. Tight weatherproof seals can mean the difference between riding the storm out in relative comfort built simple and having to sop up water before it damages your floors or encourages mold growth.

No matter what natural disaster you face, you should expect your doors to keep you safe. Whether fires, earthquakes, or hurricanes, a door from CDF Distributors is your key to riding the storm out! 

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