When a fire breaks out at a business, there’s little time to stop combustion, flames and smoke. Protecting lives and saving property can be easier with a fire-rated door system that compartmentalizes the fire quickly so occupants can exit the building safely.

Rolling fireproof doors are one of the best choices for achieving these results.

Rolling Fire Door vs. Rolling Service Door

So how does a rolling fire door differ from an ordinary rolling door? There are similarities, but each has its function.

In general, a rolling service door is to separate the building interior from the outdoors and to provide security, as well as to keep noise from escaping.

Rolling fire-resistant doors are mostly installed to close openings in fire barriers, fire walls and smoke barrier walls, thereby compartmentalizing the building. The door or shutter should match the wall in fire resistance rating, so that systems such as sprinklers can suppress the fire until emergency personnel arrive. The fire door may also be designed to keep smoke from migrating, which of course can be deadly to the building’s occupants, and can destroy property.

Features of a Rolling Fire-Resistant Door

A rolling fire-resistant door will likely have some or all these features:

  • Ability to self-close when thermal or electrical devices (smoke detectors, fusible links) activate it.
  • Fail-safe release device that responds to smoke detectors or alarm signals, so the door seals the opening before smoke migrates. Thermal release devices on the other hand require high temperatures to activate the door.
  • The use of certain materials is called for, or forbidden for use as in fire protection. Aluminum melts at a low temperature, so would not be used for fire protection, for instance.
  • Limitations in design may be prescribed by the ability to cycle quickly or frequently.
  • Size limitations may apply in fire-resistant doors, due to code restriction.
  • Fire doors must pass burn-endurance testing. Each door has a unique number recorded at a listing agency, usually Underwriters Laboratory (UL) but there are others. The listings are proof that in-plant inspections occur to ensure the doors are manufactured up to standards set by the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Parts that break or fail in the fire door must be replaced by ones from the original manufacturer.