The 5 Safety Tips You Need to Know about Fire Rated Doors
It's no secret that fire doors are only as reliable as the state they're left in. After all, how's a fire door supposed to create a barrier between rooms and deplete a fire's oxygen supply if there's an object left in the doorway? To ensure your rolling steel fire door protects your occupants, assets and the structural integrity of your building in the event of a fire, make sure all building occupants know and share the following safety tips, as their imperative to the readiness of your fire rated door.
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Safety Tips to Know and Share:
- Don't lock exit fire doors.
- Don't block fire doors or prop them open.
- Do not modify before consulting a professional.
- Inspect, maintain and test routinely.
- Educate occupants.
Do Not Lock Exit Fire Doors
To protect building occupants in the event of a fire, never lock or fasten fire exit doors in a way that could prevent them from being easily opened by a person who may use them during an emergency exit. Make sure these doors are easily openable from the inside of the building.
Do Not Block Fire Doors or Prop Them Open
Since fire doors are designed to automatically close when they reach a certain temperature, keeping them free of obstruction will ensure they don't descend onto misplaced objects. Obstructions could cause damage to the door and prevent it from working properly during an emergency.
People mistakenly prop fire rated doors open for their personal convenience, not realizing they're creating a significant safety hazard for everyone in the building. When a fire door is unable to fully close, it can't create an effective barrier between rooms to deplete the fire's oxygen supply. This can fuel the fire with oxygen and allow it to spread freely throughout your building.
Do Not Modify before Consulting a Professional
Many field modifications can interfere with the fire door, voiding compliance and causing it not to function as intended. Before modifying a fire door in any way, be sure to consult the door manufacturer or testing laboratory indicated on your door. These professionals can help guide you in making proper modifications without compromising the integrity of your fire rated door.
Inspect, Maintain and Test Routinely
Performing routine visual inspections and operational checks will ensure your door is working optimally at all times and help you catch damaged door assemblies before they turn into larger problems. Annual inspections and drop testing are just as important, as they're more extensive and can help you catch overlooked deficiencies. When you inspect, maintain and test your doors as recommended, you can preserve the integrity of your door's safety features and ensure it's ready for action at any time.
NFPA 80 requires that any repairs and defects that could interfere with the fire door's operation be repaired without delay, as well as the annual inspection and testing of fire door assemblies by individuals with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of fire doors.
The above tips are each imperative to the effectiveness of your fire door's operation. Educate all occupants on the importance of closing a fire door. After all, if one person doesn't follow a safety step, it can jeopardize the entire building and the safety of it's occupants. By educating your building occupants, you can ensure your doors readiness in the event of a fire.