Fire doors are a system of passive protection against fires that are installed in any type of building to prevent the spread of fires and facilitate evacuation during an emergency.
The fire doors thus contribute to the compartmentalization of the buildings because they manage to slow down and can even prevent the progression of any type of fire. Most of them are usually metal pivoting and must meet minimum requirements including fire resistant, easily opened to allow proper evacuation and closing automatically after each opening.
What Are Fire Doors?
The creation of fire doors is born, as the name implies, from the need to minimize the rapid spread of fire in a fire. With this type of enclosures, it is possible to avoid the advance of the flames, which is why they are installed mainly in shopping centers, buildings, garages, and others. The materials used for its manufacture are varied, glass, wood, but mainly are metal doors.
This doors type is cataloged and recognized by the acronym FR “Fire Resistant”. In its design, safety is the priority, because it is or is basic that among its main features it has a simple opening system to be able to exit easily if necessary. The most commonly used model is the metal pivoting door, the purpose of the enclosure is to resist for a long time the high temperatures that cause a fire, this firewall, in particular, is designed so that its blade reaches temperatures of between 120 to 180 degrees. As for the frame of the door, should not exceed 360 º and its mission is to stop the passage of gases and smoke to the next room because otherwise, people who are on the other side would be exposed to intoxication by inhalation that could cost them their lives.
The fire doors are installed in large areas to segment the space so that it is divided into smaller areas. The operation is that thanks to its compartmentalization act as a barrier against fire, preventing its passage and cutting its rapid advance. In cases where the fire is very large and the doors do not have the capacity for the flames, the firewalls will act as retainers to slow the passage of the fire and allow time for the people who are in the building to leave and arrive firefighters. What you try to achieve with these doors is that the fires do not spread too quickly. These safety methods are adjustable in different positions according to the intensity of their use and they always have a self-closing system. To achieve your goal it is essential that someone always open the door, it closes on its own after its passage. Another necessary condition is that fire doors are never locked under lock and key. They must remain accessible at all times and with an easy opening in any emergency.
Fire Doors Models and Systems of Operation
There are different models and operating systems of fire doors, we find the manual, automatic and semi-automatic. But regardless of its opening system, the most important thing is that it is always operative to facilitate the passage of people and retain the flames, as well as that its installation is impeccable and prevents gases from passing from one cabin to another. To ensure that the door is perfectly sealed, thus ensuring the physical integrity of the people who are in the building, is often used much electro-magnet technology. It is of the utmost importance that the firewall prevents both the passage of the flames and the smoke. For this reason, so that no one can get through the door, these devices are subjected to strong security controls that confirm their resistance to an emergency.
Fire Doors Types and Maintenance
Currently, there are mainly two types of fire doors that are the most used.
- Fire door guide.They are doors with high resistance to fire. For its manufacture galvanized metal is used that increases its strength. In order to install this door, it is necessary to take into account the cavity to be covered.
- Leaf fire door.It is the most common door that we find installed in large buildings. For its manufacture, two steel plates separated by a rock wool filling are used to prevent high temperatures from passing from one plate to another. With this system of isolation, a high position to the fire is achieved.
What Characteristics Should Fire Doors Meet?
- Thermal insulation.The fire doors must serve as a wall to prevent the advance of the fire and must be able to mitigate the high temperatures in the face exposed to the fire to allow in this way the transit of people on the other side. In addition, on the cold side, they must also fulfill an insulating function to prevent the inflammation of coatings and the surrounding furniture.
- Isolation of gases and fumes.This passive fire protection system must prevent the passage of hot gases and fumes. For this, it is very important that the leaves and the frame are properly adjusted, that the sealing rings fulfill their function and that the doors have an automatic closing mechanism after each opening.
Why Is The Maintenance Of Fire Doors So Important?
The fire doors have a life cycle of 20 years due to the deterioration of their insulating components, but, in any case, it is necessary to perform a continuous maintenance of these facilities. There are companies that offer teams of professionals specialized in the maintenance of fire protection systems that are responsible for conducting the necessary operational tests, which verify the operation of these systems and replace those elements of the doors that show signs of damage or corrosion.
Do not hesitate to contact the specialists if you need to install new fire doors in your company or if on the contrary, you want to verify the correct functioning of your current system.
The maintenance of these security doors has to be very exhaustive, because they have to pass without problems the severe preventive controls to which they are subjected regularly, to ensure that without integrity and performance will be adequate in the event of a fire.
In the maintenance and security controls of the fire doors, technicians should check that there are no breaks, bumps, deformations or that the door is off-hook. A complete examination is carried out to verify that all the components of the system are in good condition (intumescent joints, cranks, lock, hinges, self-closing, anti-panic, glass). Depending on the use of the door its useful life cannot exceed twenty years, although it is advisable to change it in shorter periods. Repairs must be carried out by authorized qualified personnel and original spare parts must always be used.