There is no doubt that a fire can be a devastating experience, resulting in loss of life and property. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can burst into a major fire. Heat from the fire is a bigger threat than its flames. In a fire situation, room temperatures can rise to 100 º F at floor level, and soar to as much as 600 º F at eye level. Inhaling the super-heated air will scorch the lungs. In addition, fire uses up oxygen and produces smoke and poisonous gases that cause drowsiness, disorientation and even death.
Fortunately, architects have several tools in their arsenal to retard fires, saving lives and property in the process. Fire-rated doors are one such element. Used in both commercial and residential applications, fire-rated doors can be made of steel, wood, or a combination of materials, which together form a door system. In addition to the door leaf itself, there is the doorframe, hardware, including manual or automatic closing devices, locks, and latches, and sometimes internal windows, all of which are subject to product certification and must meet requirements of the local building code.