When your building or facility is equipped with fire door exits, you add a considerable level of protection against catastrophic damage to your structure. These exit barriers are at the very core of fire protection (which include walls, ceilings and floors as well). They are a part of building’s passive fire protection system – a requirement of all public buildings, offices, and factories. They interrupt smoke, toxic gasses, and flames from spreading from one area of your building to another. In other words, they create tiny compartments inside your building or facility, so that if fire has erupted in one compartment, the rest of the facility (and workers) can remain safe.
What makes these barriers so important is that they address the issues caused by a normal barrier. Normal doors are a breach in fire protection. They are not self-closing nor contain the required latching device like ones designed for fire protection. Being self-closing is a vital component because, in reality, many doors are left open for the convenience of workers. While some believe that fire doors should not be held open, in reality they can be, so long as they are capable of automatically releasing once a building’s fire alarms sound off.
What you should know glass fire doors
You need a fire barrier in your building whenever you have an exit sign on or near an exit way. You also need one if the exit leads to a stairwell or to a hazardous area (such as flammable material).
You should never tie them open, or use wedges and blocks to prop it. The only thing that should keep them open is a device that still allows it to close automatically (this is often an electromagnet device).
Can every door be a fire door?
Great question. The answer, simply, is no. Fire doors must be certified by recognized testing laboratories (such as UL), and must have the laboratory’s certification label in order to be deemed worthy of its title.