Fire protection is critical for the safety of occupants and assets. Thus, firefighting appliances such as fire extinguishers and sprinklers have become mandatory additions in commercial buildings. Besides firefighting appliances, property owners have a legal obligation to install fire doors to keep flames and smoke from entering specific spaces. That said, a fire door is only as good as its installation; therefore, it is crucial to follow the laid down guidelines to guarantee optimal performance. This article highlights critical guidelines regarding the installation of fire doors.
Single Action — There are two types of door actions: single and double-acting. Single-acting doors only swing one way, meaning you can only open them in one direction. On the other hand, double-acting doors swing both ways, and you can open them in both directions, making them common in high-traffic areas. Notably, it is critical to ensure that fire doors are single-acting. One of the main reasons is that a double-acting door lacks latching hardware and a stop on the frame; hence, it cannot be fire-rated. Moreover, installing a double-acting door means that people would be pushing from both directions in case of a fire, making it highly ineffective.
Seal Wall-to-Frame Gap — There could be some space between a frame and a wall when installing a fire door. It usually arises from architectural design, and the gap usually varies from one building to another. It is easy to miss the gap when installing fire doors because it is often not more than a few millimetres wide. Unfortunately, the space is enough for smoke to seep to the other side of the door. Thus, it is advisable to fill the wall-to-frame gap with stone, wool or a sealant. The materials create an air-tight seal that keeps smoke on the flame side of a fire door.
Make Allowances for Floor Coverings — Floor coverings such as carpets are common in most commercial facilities due to their acoustic and aesthetic properties. Notably, floor coverings vary in size. Therefore, it is critical to make allowances for floor coverings when installing fire doors to ensure a proper seal between the door and a carpet. For instance, if a room has a thick carpet, the installation team should trim the bottom of the jambs to increase the sill gap. It allows a fire door to close snugly and create a perfect smoke seal. In contrast, you should pack the bottom of the jambs to increase the seal gap if a room has a thin or no carpet.
For more information on fire door installation, contact a professional near you.
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