October 9, 2017

Fire Rated Rolling Steel Doors.

What is the difference between a Rolling Door and a Fire Rated Rolling Steel Door?

Local codes throughout the US and Canada many times require certain products and building materials to be Fire Rated, Rolling Doors are no exception. But what makes a Rolling Door fire Rated?

A fire Rated Rolling Door is one that has the ability to self close in case of a Fire. The intention of the Rolling Steel door is to prevent a fire from spreading from one room to another. The rating on the door will have to match or supersede the rating of the wall. For example, if your wall has to be rated for 90 Min. Your Rolling doors should be rated for 90 min. at the minimum. Usually most Door are rated up to 3 Hrs and they are enough to comply with local codes. 

Every Rolling Steel Fire Door has to come with fusible links to self close the door. A fusible link looks like the picture below. 

Fusible link

Fusible links are located above the rolling door and on the sides. In some instances a Fire Marshall will want to have the fusible links as close as possible to the ceiling or on both sides of the opening. We have seen this change from county to county and from state to state. The most common one would look like the drawing below where you have 3 links on top of the door. 

Rolling Door Schematics

The fusible link will separate at 165 degrees and will release the tension of the door to automatically close in a case of a fire. All of our fire doors are equipped with a Speed Governor or a viscous wheel governor which will help the door drop at a descent speed and not let the door crash down. It controls the rate of door descent. 

A governor Speed wheel will look like the picture below and it is located in one of the head plates of the door depending on the operating hand. 

Governor Speed Wheel

Fire Rated Rolling Doors can be made Push up operation, Chain operated and motor operated. Either operation will still require fusible links and the chain or motor system will have to interact with the fusible link system. A standard Roll up door chain hoist will not work with the fire Door link system. In addition many local codes now are requiring that the fire door system is linked to the central alarm of the building to close the door. The Fire Door Release system is a bridge between the door and the central alarm. The fusible link connects the door and the fire alarm release box and the opposite end connects to the central alarm electrically via low voltage wiring. Once the alarm goes off the box separates the fusible link and the door closes.

Fire Rated Rolling Door

The doors are connected to the central alarm via the door release device and can be triggered by the smoke detector or fire alarm. As a safety they also include fusible links to drop in case the detector or alarm fail. 

Our Fire Rated Rolling Doors come with a label similar to the one on the picture below. Once you exceed certain sizes we provide with an Oversize Fire Rated Rolling Door certificate which serves the same purpose as the label. These labels and certificates prove the doors have gone thru the necessary testing to perform in case of a Fire and allows a Fire Marshall to validate the authenticity of the system. 

Fire Rated Rolling Door Label

According to NFPA 80 (National Fire Protection Association) All and every Fire Rated Doors should be Tested annually to ensure optimal working conditions. The automatic closing of the door should be tested at the time of door installation but inspections should run every year.This will aid the door to perform in case it is needed. The requirements apply to all fire doors even if the doors are not in use and remain close all the time.Always have a trained technician inspect your fire doors.

Below are some of the most important factors while inspecting a Roll up Fire Door.

  • Inspect fire doors for damage to guides, curtain and endlocks, bottom bar, hood and operating mechanism.
  • Refer to NFPA 80 (Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives)
  • Ensure that the door’s operating mechanisms, fuse links and release chain/cable are not painted, coated with dust or grease, and/or covered with debris.
  • Open and close the door to inspect for any indications of damaged parts.
  • Remove flammable substances on each side of the firewall opening near the fire door.

If you need more information on Fire rated closures or Fire rated products please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready and waiting for you to instruct you and help you get the best product at the best price. We have many options on our doors and are available to manufacture in Stainless Steel, Powder Coat, baked on enamel as well as insulated Rolling Steel Fire Doors. Make sure to contact us and we will be happy to help.

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