Aside from providing structural support, firewalls are built to prevent a building from catching fire from an adjacent structure. The building code of any city or county requires building owners to add firewalls to their structures. However, a firewall cannot provide enough protection in case of raging fire. In order to ensure complete fire protection, building owners also need to install fire rated commercial garage doors. These types of doors are designed to augment the existing fire protection system. If you really want complete fire protection, you need to install one in your building.
Here are some important things you need to know about fire rated commercial garage doors. Being aware of these things will help you see their value both in fulfilling your building administrative functions and the safety of its tenants.
These Doors Should Carry The Correct Fire Rating
Knowing the fire rating of a commercial garage door is important in deciding which type of door to install. It is also important to install fire-rated hardware so that the entire commercial garage door will not allow fire from an adjacent building to enter your premises. The higher the fire rating of the door, the better. But you don’t need a fire rating that is way above the requirement because it will just be unnecessary expense.
You will know the fire rating of the commercial garage door by looking at its UL (Underwriter Laboratories) or WH (Warnock Hersey) fire label. These labels can be easily seen on some doors, but in others, you will have to examine the door closely. On wooden doors, the label is usually located on the top of the door or on its hinge side. Some labels are embossed on the door frame.
Fire Barrier Codes
Fire door manufacturers are required to follow the IFC (International Fire Code) and the IBC (International Building Code) in building their fire-rated doors. Additionally, these two organizations have their own specific building standards that they follow to ensure that the doors sold in the market will provide maximum fire protection. You also need to know that insurance companies, and your local fire code and building code may also require certain conditions to ensure complete fire protection.
How To Buy A Fire Rated Commercial Garage Door
There are certain things you need to consider when buying a fire rated commercial garage door. Here are some of them.
- Where are you going to install it?
Your needs will determine where the door will be installed. Since it is basically a garage door, it will be used as an entry and exit point of vehicles. And since it is commercial in nature, it should be made of heavier and long-lasting materials, apart from it being fire-rated.
- How big do you want it to be?
Since the door will be used in a garage, the size of your biggest vehicle will determine the minimum size of the fire rated commercial garage door.
- What is the type of your firewall?
There are different types of firewall. They can be made of cast concrete, hollow blocks or drywall. Which one is yours? You need to know the firewall construction because fire rated doors need a structure that can provide sufficient support. Basically, the firewall must be UL approved for the mounting of a fire rated commercial garage door. If you don’t know the type of your firewall, you need to consult the structural engineer that built it or at least the building plans, if you still have them.
- What type of door is required?
Most fire rated commercial garage doors are made of steel and stainless steel. If there is high humidity in your location, stainless steel is the best material that you can use, although it is more expensive than ordinary steel. If you are working on a limited budget, you can opt for regular steel and just have it power coated with rustproof paint to ensure that it will last long.
- What triggering system do you want?
What type of triggering system do you want in the event of a fire? This system will cause the door to close automatically when it senses heat. There are at least three types of system to choose from. One is the fusible link where heat from the fire melts the solder that holds its two connecting elements together. When this happens, the tension that is holding the door open will be released. The other two types are electric and electronic released devices.