Choosing a Fire-Rated Door
What Does Fire Rated Door Mean?
The term ‘fire-rated’ means that, when properly installed, the door is not supposed to combust or burst into flames during a certain time frame in the average fire.” While time ratings vary, standard fire ratings are usually in intervals of 30mins.
Fire-rated doors are famous for their use in commercial buildings – shopping malls, hospitals, offices and many more. They have an important part to play in safety aspects, especially in buildings with multiple floors. This explains why you commonly see them in many other buildings.
Nevertheless, fire safety doors are not there just to reassure members of an office or users of a building. In an unlikely event of a fire breaking out, fire doors make it possible for the occupants to evacuate safely and swiftly.
As per HDB rules and regulations, most HDB flats have to have a fire-rated doors. Therefore, having some knowledge on this subject better would be useful for many homeowners, as you might find yourself in a need of replacing the door in the future.
How Do Fire Doors Work?
Fire-rated doors act as an anti-fire and preventive measure by obstructing the spread of fire and smoke. While they are still susceptible to being burned and damaged during a fire, they can still buy valuable time and prolong the fire hazard from harming the residents, giving them enough time to exit the building and get to safety.
In addition, smoke inhalation is often misunderstood and underestimated. In fires, it is the leading cause of death. Fire-rated doors can reduce the invasion of smoke and protect residents from this safety hazard for a short period of time.
Ultimately, fire-rated doors are a staple and should be used to ensure the protection of the property and its inhabitants.
Replacing a fire-rated door requires a special permit that only HDB contractors can apply for. Only HDB-certified contractors are able to carry out fire-rated door replacement works. Strict penalties are in place for those who don’t comply with government rules and regulations. If convicted, a homeowner can get a fine of up to $10,000 or even a few months of imprisonment.
How Would You Be Able To Tell If a Door is Fire rated?
The critical component to look for is the circled “UL” or “WH” on the door itself.
On wooden or timber doors, the fire label can be on the hinge side or top of the door.
For older doors, the label may have been painted over or peeled off. Hence, be sure to check carefully for any raised surfaces to locate the hidden label. The label is commonly located on the top or bottom of the door.
Do I Need a HDB Fire Rated Door?
HDB regulations dictate that you replace the initially installed HDB fire door with a fire door of the same calibre. Unlike other doors such as bedroom doors, HDB fire doors need to comply with the standard textbook requirements and have a self-closing device, in accordance to HDB rules and regulations.
The purpose of these additional devices is to close the door after it has been open. This is to prevent the further spread of fire.
For dual fire doors, the door stopper, or closing device, has to be fit onto the larger ones. The doors should be of a size no less than 850mm and be able to be fully opened at an angle of 90 degrees.
If the two sheets are of equal width, they both have to comply with the requirement, having self-closing devices combined with a sequential door closer.
Find a fire door that is designed properly such that it does not clash with the aesthetic nature of your home, or clash with the colours of your gate.
Fire Doors Requirements in Singapore
Units, where entrance doors are within 3 meters of the lift lobby or staircase, need to be equipped with one. This is to ensure that the lift lobbies and staircases are well protected in an event of an evacuation.
Unit types that do not require HDB fire rated doors include units that have openings into external corridors. Otherwise, every residential unit is designed as a fire compartment, with concrete walls and floors to help prevent the spread of the fire across the hallway or into the unit.
HDB blocks are equipped with additional fire safety features. Staircases and lift lobbies of HDB blocks are prepared with good cross ventilation to ensure a swift dispersal of harmful smoke in an event of a fire.
Exit staircases are also spaced out evenly to ensure all units have a viable exit plan in an event of a fire. Fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and fire engine access roads are also factored into consideration during the planning and construction of an HDB flat.
Having fire-rated doors adds to the security and fire safety aspect of a home. While not a must, having a fire rated door is definitely a welcomed added bonus.