Are you considering purchasing a fire-rated door? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s investigate whether these doors are a smart or necessary purchase for your home.
First thing’s first: What is a fire-rated door?
Sometimes called a fire-resistant door, a fire-rated door is specifically designed to prevent the fast spread of fire and smoke. Typically made of heavy materials, like metal or gypsum, these doors are rated on a time scale for how long they would withstand combustion during a fire — usually anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes.
Essentially, fire-rated doors can buy you extra time to safely exit during a fire, while minimizing the risks burns or smoke inhalation.
Though fire rated doors are more common in commercial buildings, their popularity in homes has increased in recent years. A fire-rated door is ideal in an entryway that doesn’t have an exterior side, like the door in from the garage. Since environmental exposure can reduce the efficacy of the fire-rated door, it isn’t recommended to use them as an exterior door where moisture and sun could be an issue.
Now the important question: Do you need one?
Unfortunately, it’s a far too individualized question to have a straightforward answer. While some people think fire-rated doors can provide peace of mind, others think the low probability of a house fire make them an unnecessary purchase.
Here are some quick facts about fire-rated doors to help with your decision:
- Appearance-wise, you can buy a fire-rated door that looks the same as your other interior doors, so you don’t have to weigh any aesthetic downside.
- To be effective, fire-rated doors need to be installed properly and closed during a fire event. If either of those requirements don’t suit your situation, you likely don’t need a fire-rated door.
- Fire-rated doors can provide benefits in two ways: either isolating you from the fire until help arrives if it’s on the outside of the door, or through slowing the spread of the fire to other areas of your home if it’s on the inside of the door.
- The ratings for fire doors are conducted in a controlled environment and don’t account for any real-world factors, like heat intensity. A door that claims it won’t combust for 20 minutes may not last that long depending on the circumstances.
A fire-rated door is one of those things you hope to never need, but that you may be really goad you have in the event that you do. While you’ll ultimately have to decide for yourself, the best thing that can happen if you do have a fire-rated door is that your home won’t catch fire and you’ll never actually need it.
Interested in checking one out?