Should I install fire doors in my home?
Consider installing fire doors in places that will guard you and your family in case of a fire. (Photo courtesy of Jessie Shaw)
Fire doors that are properly installed at strategic locations in the home allow residents more time to exit safely in case of fire. Because such doors slow the spread of fire, firefighters have greater opportunity to contain the fire and put it out before the entire home is damaged.
Fire door ratings range from 20 minutes to 180 minutes. Residential fire doors usually are 20-minute doors, which means the door will not allow fire to break through it in less than 20 minutes. Fire doors will fail to provide adequate protection if the adjoining wall is not also resistant to flames.
Residential fire doors usually are constructed of fiberglass or wood with a metal core. Door hinges have ball bearings, and the door is equipped with a positive latching system. Many fire doors close automatically through the use of an electromagnetic coil connected to the home’s fire alarm system.
When the alarms sound or there is a power failure, the doors shut on their own, which prevents fire or smoke from spreading from one room to another. Self-closing fire doors require maintenance to ensure they continue to work as designed.
When fire doors are installed, the installer may use materials that expand when subjected to heat. Some fire doors also expand. Such expansion creates an airtight seal between rooms. The homeowner must give careful consideration to this feature when selecting fire door locations. When such a seal is formed, the door cannot be opened. Self-sealing doors may be a good choice for a door that shuts off the garage from the house, as residents can use a different door to exit the home or garage. It is a poor choice for the door to any room that does not have an easy-to-use window exit or second door exit.
Putting interior fire doors between sleeping areas and places where a fire is most likely to break out is ideal. Fire doors that separate the home’s centralized heating unit and the hot water heater from the rest of the home can prevent disaster. Other possible locations are at the ends of long hallways or the top and bottom of stairwells.
Because fire doors require strict attention to detail for proper installation, it pays to engage the services of a professional door installation expert. The professional has the specialized knowledge to determine the best placement and type of fire door to fit homeowner needs and concerns.
Are you thinking about installing a fire door to help keep your family safe in case of an emergency? Angie’s List can help connect you with a Charlotte door installer that has been highly rated and recommended by members in your neighborhood. Join today for instant access to company ratings and consumer reviews you can trust.