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Everything You Need to Know About Fire-Rated Access Doors

You might have already heard of access doors. They come in different types, and you can choose to install one that will meet your needs and purposes. One of the beneficial and durable ones would be the fire-rated access doors. You can install these access doors in any construction project, especially those prone to fires or dealing with fire hazards. Learn more about these fire-rated doors for all surfaces. 

What Does Fire-Rated Mean?   

Keep in mind that fire-rated doors do not stop the spread of fire or extinguish it. These doors merely slow down the spread of the fire and smoke to give people a chance to exit the premises or to provide firefighters more time to stop the spread by focusing merely on a specific area in the building.   

The classification of fire-rated doors usually depends on their fire resistance quality.

 Depending on the make and model, you could find fire-rated doors that can resist fire for an hour or so, some even longer. Knowing the rate of the fire-rated door and its resistance to fire would help occupants determine the timeframe in which they would remain safe from the fire and possible structural collapse.   

How Ratings Are Done 

The ratings are typically done based on the make and model of the fire-rated access door. Their make is usually of metal or gypsum. Depending on the density and the sealant, the rating of a fire-rated door may differ. The installation of the door would also affect the resistance as an improperly installed access door would compromise the whole structure and the ability of the door to resist fire and smoke.   

The amount of time it takes until the door burns through is the basis of the different ratings. You can find it labelled on the door itself. Fire-rated doors usually have a resistance time of 20 minutes to 180 minutes. You should choose a rating that best fits the risk factor of where you would be installing the door. You can also find out more about which type of access panels you would be required to install in your commercial establishments.   

Benefits of Having a Fire-Rated Door  

If you are planning to install a drywall access panel that is fire-rated in your commercial space, then you should know about the benefits that come with it. Remember that these access panels need the proper installation and maintenance to maintain quality.   

  • Provide time for occupants to evacuate during fire emergencies  
  • Save money on repairs due to property damage caused by fires  
  • Help slow down the spread of smoke and flames   
  • It also acts as a security door to keep valuable components safe.  
      

You can get these benefits when installing a fire-rated access panel on your property. While most access doors need to be airtight or watertight, having an additional benefit that would help you during fires is a good idea.   

Where Fire-Rated Doors Are Most Likely Needed   

Suppose you are not sure where or if you need a fire-rated door installed on your property; you should first consider the risks involved and the possibility of a fire. For example, most people will feel safer if they have fire-rated access doors in their kitchens, as the risk of a fire occurring in such places is higher compared to other parts of a building. Other areas where these types of access doors are needed or required:   

  • Industrial buildings that deal with highly flammable materials   
  • Commercial establishments that limit access and escape routes in case of fires  
  • Residential buildings   
  • Buildings that are built too close to each other  
  • Hospitals and other Medical Facilities   

Are fire-rated doors Essential?  

Considering how much a fire-rated door offers, you will know that they are essential. They can be beneficial during fire emergencies, and even without a fire, they would be able to provide extra security and safety measures.   

These access doors not only provide a way to keep the fire in one place for a certain amount of time, but they can also act as security. They protect the essential components of the building, usually behind walls, under the floors, and even ceilings.   

Most things, like electrical, gas lines, and plumbing, can be highly flammable. They could also start fires if water got to them (which an access door would help prevent). By placing them inside fire-rated access doors, you would protect the building structure inside and out.  

Add extra security, the fire-resistant kind, to your structures to increase safety and benefits with the right fire-rated access panel.  

Access doors are an important part of any building, providing a way to enter or exit in the event of an emergency. But what exactly are fire-rated access doors, and how do they differ from regular access doors? This article will give you all the information you need to know about fire-rated access doors, from their history and development to their benefits and limitations.

use and benefit of fire-rated access doors

If you are in the process of outfitting a commercial or industrial building, then you may be wondering if you need to install fire-rated access doors. The answer is that it depends on the specific requirements of your building and the local fire code. However, in many cases, installing fire-rated access doors can be a wise investment. Here are some things to keep in mind about fire-rated access doors:

1. Fire-rated access doors can help prevent the spread of fire.

2. They can also provide a safe exit route for occupants in the event of a fire.

3. Fire-rated access doors are usually required in buildings that are equipped with sprinkler systems.

4. They are also often required in buildings where flammable materials are stored or used.

5. In some cases, installing fire-rated access doors can help you qualify for a lower insurance premium.

6. Fire-rated access doors come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit any need.

7. They can be installed by a professional contractor or do-it-yourself with relative ease.

How Ratings Are Done for access door

When it comes to fire-rated access doors, there are a few different ways that ratings are done. The most common way is by looking at the door’s UL rating. This is a number that corresponds to the door’s ability to withstand fire for a certain amount of time. The higher the number, the longer the door can withstand fire.

Another way to look at fire ratings is by looking at the door’s fire-resistance rating. This is a number that tells you how long the door can resist fire before it starts to break down. The higher the number, the longer the door will resist fire.

Finally, you can also look at the door’s insulation rating. This is a number that tells you how well the door is insulated against fire. The higher the number, the better insulated the door is.

All of these ratings are important when considering which fire-rated access door to buy. Make sure to look at all of them before making your final decision.

Cost of an access door in US

When it comes to the cost of access doors, there are a few factors to consider. The first is the size of the door. Access doors come in a variety of sizes, so the price will vary depending on the size you need. The second factor to consider is the type of door. There are three main types of access doors: fire-rated, non-rated, and combination. Fire-rated doors are the most expensive, followed by combination doors, with non-rated doors being the least expensive.

The third factor to consider is the material of the door. Access doors can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are metal and wood. Metal doors are typically more expensive than wood doors, but they offer better fire protection. Wood doors are less expensive but provide less fire protection.

Finally, you need to consider the installation costs. Access doors can be either surface mounted or recessed into the wall. Surface-mounted doors are easier to install and usually cost less, while recessed doors take more time to install but offer a cleaner look.

So, how much does an access door cost? It really depends on all of these factors. A small, non-rated door can start

Materials for fire rated access door

There are a few different materials that can be used for fire-rated access doors. Some of the most common include steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered when choosing a door for your application.

Steel doors are the most common type of fire-rated access door. They are strong and durable but can be expensive. Aluminum doors are lighter than steel, but not as strong. Fiberglass doors are lightweight and have good insulation properties, but are not as fire resistant as other materials.

Importance of Access Doors in Operating Rooms  

An operating room is where doctors perform complicated surgeries and other medical procedures. It is one of the reasons why such rooms need regular sterilization and cleaning. Other than having to clean it manually, there are other aspects that help the room stay clean and safe for patients, including drywall fire-rated access panels.   

This gives experts easy access to the essential components of the medical facility, which need to be cleaned, maintained, and inspected regularly to ensure that everything is functioning as it should. Here is a breakdown of why installing access doors in operating rooms is essential.   

Benefits of Fire-rated Access Panels   

There are a lot of benefits to having fire-rated access panels, but the focus right now is the benefits of having one in operating rooms which are: 

  • Keep Contaminants Out  

By installing a fire-rated access panel, you would be keeping contaminants out of the operating room, which is vital to ensure the safety and health of the patients. Bacteria that can be airborne can quickly get into operating rooms that do not have a sealed and insulated access panel that blocks off air and water (even sound) that may enter vents and air ducts built in hospitals. You might notice a lot of vents in hospitals, this helps not only ventilate and control the temperature in the hospital itself, but it also ensures that the hospital gets the proper sterilization it needs through the ventilation system making the indoor air safe.  

Having an access panel in vital areas like the operating room makes it easier to sterilize and control the spread of airborne contaminants to ensure that it does not affect the person in the operating room and all the other patients currently confined in the hospital.   

  • Keep Important Components Safe and Accessible   

Many vital components can be found in walls, ceilings, and even operating room floors. This could include wiring, plumbing, and even backup generators. To ensure that they function properly 24/7, maintenance and cleaning are required. An access panel that is well-insulated or sealed (airtight and watertight) ensures that these components get the protection they need from moisture.   

Medical facilities must ensure that these components get the proper maintenance and inspection. Aside from ensuring these parts get sterilization and cleaning, having them malfunction during a critical operation would bring up problems. This would also ensure that there would not be any unauthorized access to these essential components that could cost a patient’s life.  

  • Control Pressure   

Another reason to install an access panel that is air-tight, water-tight, and fire-rated is the pressure. Some parts of the hospital would require a different kind of pressure than others. An operating room would require positive pressure.  The goal is to ensure that dangerous pathogens would not be able to enter the room. Operating rooms need to be one of the cleanest rooms in the hospital rooms. Other rooms that would require such pressure would be delivery rooms and trauma rooms.   

Other parts of the hospital would need negative pressure. Negative pressure areas are also known as places of isolation.  The air in such rooms is lower than the air pressure outside. It would help stop the spread of dangerous particles from the inside to the outside.   

  • Follow Fire Safety Codes  

Most access panels hide essential components, and some of these components are highly flammable. A fire-rated access door will prevent the quick spread of the fire and smoke. It is best to note that fire-rated doors do not stop the fire but merely slow down the spread to give people time to exit or to allow fire fighters to put it out before the spread.    

Most of the time, operations can go on for more than 24 hours. Making sure that doctors and nurses in the operating room are safe, have time to evacuate with the patient in case of fire properly, or have enough time to save the patient’s life before it gets dangerous, makes all the difference.   

Know More About Fire-Rated Access Panels  

You could choose different fire-rated access panels depending on the size, level of fire resistance, and even insulation. You can ask your contractor about fire-rated doors, and which would best fit the operating room; that would also help with pressurization and sterilization.   

By knowing the different types of access panels, you can install them in medical facilities, you will be able to choose one that would bring the most benefits. With the added fire protection, access panels add to the level of safety in operating rooms where the most complex medical procedures occur.   

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