A fire rated door (aka fire door) is designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building by containing it within one area. They are particularly important in large buildings or ships, where they will limit a fire to one compartment, preventing the whole structure from burning. Typically, fire rated doors are constructed out of hollow metal since there’s no insulation or material to burn, and the metal requires an extremely great temperature to melt. The most common rating for a fire rated door is 90 minutes, although 120 and 180 minute doors also exist.
Fire testing a door involves exposing a door to a furnace in a laboratory setting and measuring how long it takes for the fire to spread. A number of facilities currently perform fire testing, including Underwriters Laboratories where Shield doors are tested. Temperature is gradually increased in the furnace over standard intervals until the time limit is reached or the door fails. Some tests also involve positive pressure, pushing the door away from the furnace to increase likelihood of failure. The inspectors will look for flaming, smoking, movement, or other indications that the door has been breached by fire.
After 90 minutes of exposure to the furnace at a temperature exceeding 1000°F, a hose test is conducted to rapidly cool the doors and determine if they deflect in any way that compromises their performance. The hose test is a critical part of the overall fire test. Fail the hose test and you fail everything.
Fire rated doors are common, but custom-designed, forced-entry resistant, fire rated doors are not. At Shield, our fire-rated door is a variant of our Fortress Series door that carries a UL 10C 90 minute fire rating. This means it can contain a fore for up to 90 minutes. More than enough time to escape a burning building. The “Fire Fortress” is uniquely suited for high threat locations that also need the reassurance of a fire rating on their doors. Schools, government installations, and large offices need to be prepared for a variety of threats. An aesthetically pleasing product that counters multiple threats at the same time is the ideal solution.