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Fire-rated doors


If you’re the owner of a commercial building, fire safety should be one of your top priorities. Commercial building fires often happen without warning and can result in extensive damage to the property, as well as loss of life. The United States Fire Association estimates that over 100,000 commercial building fires occur annually, costing owners upwards of 2.4 billion dollars and claiming nearly 100 lives. Let's talk about fire-rated doors.

About 42% of these fires are caused by cooking accidents or carelessness. This shows that many of these accidents are entirely preventable. But what about the other 58%? How can a business owner protect against one of the worst disasters imaginable if they can’t prevent the fire from happening in the first place?

Adhering to local fire codes is the first and most obvious step. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and clearly marked emergency exits can go a long way toward preventing a tragedy like a fire. But if a business owner wants to ensure that they’ve taken every measure possible in order to guard against catastrophe, they should consider installing fire-rated doors throughout their building.

What Are They?

Fire-rated doors are doors that are specially designed to resist fire and smoke for a far longer period of time than a standard door would. There are no doors that are entirely fireproof, but these doors can withstand high temperatures for extended periods of time without combusting, slowing the spread and allowing building inhabitants the time they need to exit the building safely. These doors can save lives during a catastrophe for building occupants.

Fire-rated doors can automatically close upon detecting smoke, isolating areas from fire spread. This action is generally triggered by the fire alarm.

The door itself is not the only fire-resistant component, either. These doors feature special primer for visibility, fire-rated hardware to secure tight closure, and door frames. All of these components, along with the door itself, are what make a doorway fire-resistant.   

How is a Door’s Fire-Rating Determined?

A door’s fire rating is measured by the amount of time it is expected to resist fire without combustion. The average fire rating ranges from about 20 to 90 minutes, but fire-rated commercial metal doors from CDF Distributors can resist fire for up to three hours.

In order to determine a commercial door’s fire rating, the doors are put through rigorous endurance testing. Heated to 1,925°F to test resistance, then blasted with a 30-psi fire hose to prevent fire spread. Finally, they are tested for their ability to act as smoke barriers.

What Are Fire-Rated Doors Made From? 

These doors can be made from various materials, such as fiberglass, metal, or wood. The material is made from contributes to its fire rating. For example, a fire-rated commercial steel door has a fire rating of three hours, while fire-rated wood doors can provide protection for up to 90 minutes.

There are glass kits for commercial doors that are fire-resistant, as well. The glass is wired or high-temperature, resisting flames during a fire. Glass kits enhance visibility, aiding safe building evacuation with extra light.

Fire-Rated Commercial Doors from CDF Distributors

CDF Distributors provides fire-rated wood, metal, and steel doors, plus glass kits and louvers for added fire protection. We offer a range of fire-rated commercial doors (90 minutes to three hours) to maximize building and occupant safety.

If you’re interested in learning more about fire-rated doors for your commercial building, contact CDF Distributors today. We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions!









February 18, 2021
Wayne Foreman

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