Fire safety is physical security. In 2019, there were 1.3 million fire incidents inside the United States. This has been fairly average over the last decade, since 2010. In general fire incidents are on the decline but they are still too common.
Fire-rated doors and door hardware exist for a reason and a purpose. They can mean the difference between minor damage and a total fire loss. In some cases fire doors are mandated either by local building code, the architectural plans, the fire marshal, or other AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Fire-rated equipment may be mandated in these cases is not optional. You should consult with a competent professional to determine your legal requirements. Here are some uses of fire rated doors and hardware.
1. Stairwells / Elevators
Building codes usually require that the doors accessing stairwells and elevators be fire rated. In addition to being fire rated doors in these cases might also have special features that help mitigate smoke. Aside from being dangerous or deadly to inhale, smoke reduces visibility and increases the time required to evacuate a building. These fire door assemblies need routine inspection.
Roll up gates and garages can also have fire ratings. These types of gates require very specific installation and specialized maintenance. Given that roll up gates and garages have cars many times doors adjacent to garages will carry a fire rating.
It’s not uncommon for hallway doors to be fire rated. Fire doors slow the spread of the fire, so installing one for a hallway can protect a large amount of space. Some buildings might not require a fire rated door for hallway but as a facility manager or building owner it can be a smart upgrade. Hallway doors might also require a certain smoke rating as well.
4. Vulnerable Areas
Not every building or business is the same. Some companies have particular assets that are more valuable necessitating that the room they’re held in be more secure. This might mean installing locking hardware on the door or upgrading the door to a fire rated door. For example, a business might have a room with two desks that holds significant value for the business. It might be wise to upgrade the doors leading to and from that area with fire rated doors.