Xylem or wood-based doors have become a common sight in residential complexes and properties. Owners of many commercial facilities too, do not think beyond the regular wooden doors. But, wooden doors could be a liability in case of fire. You could certainly opt for wooden doors that offer suitable levels of fire resistance. However, in commercial facilities, the risk of not having quality fire rated doors could be quite costly.
For instance, unlike residences, commercial properties typically have several people visiting or working in them at any given point in time. In case of fire, the facility owner will need as much time as possible for making people vacate the facility. Having regular doors will not suffice in this situation. In fact, regular wooden doors could end up adding to the problem. In contrast, fire-rated doors could prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of the building. More importantly, by controlling the spread of the fire, they could give you ample time to empty the building of people.
What Kinds of Fire Rated Doors Do Manufacturers Commonly Provide in Australia?
Not many people will know that fire-rated doors come in a wide range of varieties. Some suppliers will be able to provide lead-lined doors and steel-faced doors. Others might specialise in smoke doors and timber-faced doors featuring quality wenge veneer. However, reputed manufacturers of fire-rated doors will offer a wide selection of doors ideal for use in commercial and residential facilities alike. Commercial hinged fire doors offer superior levels of security, durability and sound restrictive traits.
They can be ideal for using in heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications. Many residential fire doors will feature fire-ratings of at least one hour. Despite being lightweight, these doors will be strong and durable. They will also provide superlative fire performance levels. Double action fire doors can be useful in areas that have high levels of bi-directional traffic. Sliding fire doors typically come with steel or plywood finishes. You could choose sliding fire-rated doors in single leaf, multiple leaves, bi-parting etc. varieties.
Focus on the Fire Resistance Levels When Shopping for Fire-Rated Doors
The building codes prevalent in Australia grade fire rated doors in terms of their Fire Resistance Level (FRL). FRLs denote the period in minutes that a door will resist flame and smoke. This term typically has three values that denote the door’s resistance based on its structural adequacy, integrity and insulation. Hence, a door with FRL values of 60/60/60 will maintain structural adequacy, integrity and insulation for 60 minutes.
What Kinds of Materials Should Your Fire Door Comprise?
Similarly, fire doors could feature any type of materials. Some doors might feature glass, MDF or wood. Others might comprise gypsum, steel or timber (including American oak veneers). To pick fire doors ideal for your building, consider:
- The FRL value the door must have
- The size and thickness of the fire door
- The purpose of the fire door i.e. buildings with inflammable materials might necessitate steel doors with high FRL ratings
- The strength and durability of the door and,
- The design choices that could influence the aesthetic appeal of the fire door
Which Fire Door Configuration Will be Ideal for Your Specific Structure?
As mentioned earlier, fire rated doors come in various configurations. Hinged fire doors will be ideal for generic use. Fixed to the door jambs, these doors will swing open one way – either inwards or outwards. These doors will always feature a handle or a knob. Sliding fire doors can be useful in larger spaces – especially in commercial facilities.
These doors slide into cavities located in walls when opened. They can accommodate more people and large machinery as well. Swinging double action fire doors can swing open inwards and outwards. Fitted to the top and vertical stiles, these doors can be ideal in spaces that experience heavy bi-directional traffic.
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