What is a Fire-Rated Door and Do You Need One?

What is a Fire-Rated Door and Do You Need One?

Stop, drop, and roll — it’s a helpful tool we learn as children, but what else can be done to prevent damage from fires? 

As homeowners, fires loom as a very real threat to our possessions and our safety. The scary truth is that an average of 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year (National Fire Protection Association). One addition to your fire-safety toolkit: a fire-rated door. 

What is a fire-rated door?

A fire-rated door is specially crafted to slow or prevent the spread of fire and smoke. It’s built with heavier materials than standard doors and, when installed properly, won’t combust in an average fire within the given time frame on the door’s label. 

Although they aren’t designed to be totally fireproof, fire-rated doors resist heat better than standard doors. This adds an element of safety that can make all the difference in slowing down a fire until help arrives, or even giving you the chance to make a safe exit from the structure.

What is a 20-minute pressure rating for a fire door?

The minutes you see associated with fire-rated doors are ratings granted by third-party testing agencies. Standard ratings range from 20 minutes up to 90 minutes, but there are some commercial building codes that require 180 minutes. 

So, a 20-minute fire-rated door (sometimes referred to as “smoke and draft control door assemblies”) complies with code requirements for the 20-minute fire safety classification. In layman's terms, a 20-minute fire-rated door would withstand 20 minutes of fire without being consumed. 

Where should you put a 20-minute fire-rated door?

Fire-rated doors are most common in commercial buildings — think dormitories, office buildings, and restaurants. That said, 20-minute fire-rated doors are ideal in entryways between your garage and living space. These doors — although they do have the same 1 ¾” thickness as most exterior doors — are not meant for environmental exposure such as sun or moisture.

Where to buy a fire-rated door?

We carry 20-minute fire-rated doors here at Door to Door! With a 20-minute pressure rating, our fire-rated doors have the integrity and safety features you deserve, while having the added benefit of matching our regular interior doors in style. 

In addition to regular fire-safety best practices, fire-rated doors can provide peace of mind to homeowners. Buy a 20-minute fire-rated door for your home now!