Beneath the surface of every structure lies an invisible superhero, silently guarding against fire. These protectors, known as fire-rated doors, have a significance extending far beyond their humble appearance.
In exploring their remarkable qualities, we will dive into the significance and advantages of fire-rated doors. From safeguarding lives and property to adhering to strict building codes, these crucial components play a pivotal role in our safety and well-being.
When protecting your residential or working space and its occupants from the dangers of a fire, you cannot rely on regular wooden doors. Standard doors and windows used in residential homes and commercial buildings in Singapore are typically made of plastic or other light materials. They cannot withstand extreme temperatures in a fire emergency, so you need doors made of unique materials.
Fire-rated doors are constructed using fire-resistant materials like timber, glass, steel, gypsum, and vermiculite boards. The primary purpose of using a fire-rated door in a building or home is to restrict and delay the spread of fire, smoke, and fumes from one part of the building to another.
But fire-rated doors can also be made of wood, utilised with appropriate fire-resistant treatments to enhance fire resistance capabilities. Wooden fire-rated doors are often preferred in applications where aesthetics and design are essential, such as residential buildings, hotels, or heritage structures.
Wooden fire-rated doors undergo specialised manufacturing processes to meet fire safety requirements and are treated with fire-retardant coatings or additives.
Also, fire-rated doors are given various ratings depending on the duration they can withstand the heat and restrain the fire from spreading to the other parts of the building. Minimally, fire-rated doors can withstand the heat for 20 minutes. This number can go as high as 90 minutes.
It’s important to note that the specific requirements for fire-rated doors may vary depending on local building codes and regulations.
Significance of Fire-Rated Doors
Fire-rated doors make them an essential component of fire safety measures due to its:
1. Fire Resistance:: Fire-rated doors are constructed using fire-resistant materials to withstand high temperatures. They are engineered to prevent the spread of fire, creating a barrier that buys valuable time for occupants to escape safely. By containing the fire within a specific area, fire-rated doors limit property damage and improve fire safety.
2. Compliance With Building Codes: Building codes and regulations mandate the installation of fire-rated doors in certain building areas based on occupancy type, size, and fire hazards. Using fire-rated doors ensures compliance with these regulations, avoiding potential penalties and legal issues. It also demonstrates your commitment to maintaining a safe environment for occupants.
3. Compartmentalisation: Fire-rated doors play a crucial role in compartmentalising a building. By dividing it into compartments or fire zones, fire-rated doors restrict the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic gases from one area to another. This containment helps slow the fire’s progress, give occupants more time to evacuate, and enable firefighters to focus on specific areas, thus enhancing overall fire safety and minimising the potential for widespread damage.
4. Evacuation Routes: Fire-rated doors serve as designated evacuation routes during a fire emergency. These doors are strategically placed to create clear pathways for occupants to evacuate the building safely. By guiding people towards exits or designated assembly points, fire-rated doors ensure orderly and efficient evacuations, reducing the risk of panic and increasing the chances of a successful evacuation.
5. Property Protection: Fire-rated doors are essential for protecting lives and valuable assets within a building. These doors help safeguard equipment, inventory, sensitive documents, and other valuable items from the destructive forces of fire. They minimise the risk of damage or loss, potentially saving businesses from significant financial setbacks and preserving critical resources.
Advantages of Fire-Rated Doors
Fire-rated doors offer numerous advantages that contribute to the overall safety of buildings.
Fire-rated doors are available in various configurations, including single or double doors, sliding doors, or revolving doors. This versatility allows them to be seamlessly integrated into different building layouts and functional requirements while maintaining fire safety standards.
They are constructed using durable materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure their resilience against fire, heat, and impact. They are designed to withstand the demanding conditions of a fire emergency, providing long-lasting protection and reliability.
In addition to their fire resistance, fire-rated doors often offer sound insulation properties. These doors can help minimise noise transmission between different areas of a building, enhancing privacy and comfort while still meeting fire safety requirements.
Fire-rated doors can be seamlessly integrated into existing building structures or retrofitted into older buildings. They can be installed in various locations, including stairwells, corridors, entrance ways, or areas requiring fire-rated barriers, ensuring comprehensive fire protection throughout the building.
Maintenance and Inspections
Fire-rated doors are designed to facilitate maintenance and regular inspections. They often feature accessible components, such as removable vision panels or easily replaceable seals, enabling efficient maintenance and ensuring the doors remain in proper working condition to maintain their fire-resistant properties.
Extended Evacuation Time
By slowing down the progress of fire and smoke, fire-rated doors provide additional time for occupants to evacuate. This is particularly beneficial in large or multi-story buildings where evacuation can be time-consuming.
Fire-rated doors are available in a variety of designs, including those made of wood, glass, or steel. This allows for aesthetic integration with the overall architectural style of a building while maintaining the required fire safety standards.
By investing in fire-rated doors and ensuring their proper installation and maintenance, buildings can significantly enhance their fire protection measures and safeguard the lives of occupants while minimising property damage.
Installing a Fire Rated Door
While selecting a fire-rated door with the best ratings is essential, you must ensure it is correctly installed. A fire-rated door is only effective if it is professionally done.
Each fire-rated door comes with different specifications regarding the material, size, shape, and parts. There are several things that you need to keep in mind while installing a fire-rated door, and only professionals with their accompanying experience can install a fire-rated door as per the specifications approved by the fire department for the door to perform to its maximum effectiveness.
Fire-rated doors should be an integral part of your fire protection plan as they are incredibly effective in protecting the lives of your employees, office equipment, and, most importantly, the structural integrity of the building. Make sure to choose a fire-rated door that comes with the highest ratings and meets your specific requirements.
In addition, purchase a fire door from approved suppliers like Hart Engineering with the proper COC (certificate of conformity). An approved fire-rated door in Singapore comes with labels from the ‘certified body’ (CB), and if such a label is not available, the fire door will not be considered approved by SCDF.
Hart Engineering maintains rigorous adherence to safety standards, including Singapore Standard 489 and Singapore Standard 332, for every door we manufacture.
Fire-rated doors are more than just functional components of fire safety systems; they are key guardians of life and property during fire emergencies. The advantages they offer make them indispensable in protecting occupants, providing safe evacuation routes, and minimising the devastating effects of fires.
For over five decades, the Hart brand has built a strong reputation in the Singapore market as a reliable supplier and manufacturer of fire doors. Our doors have been successfully installed in numerous building projects, both locally and regionally.
By recognising the significance of fire-rated doors and installing them in accordance with fire safety regulations, buildings can become safer environments that prioritise the well-being of people and assets. The investment in fire-rated doors is a crucial step towards enhancing fire safety measures and ensuring the utmost protection in the face of potential fire hazards.
Together, we bear the responsibility for fire safety. Let’s all play a part in keeping Singapore spaces secure. For assistance in equipping your home and space with the necessary tools, please visit our website or contact us at (65) 6291 2611.