Fire safety measures are a necessary step that any builder or architect needs to take in order to ensure the safety of the users of a building. With the advent of high rise skyscrapers, smart cities, and planned communities in India, it is the need of the hour to install basic fire safety measures. The National Building Code of 2016 has also made great strides in the revolution needed to ensure that all buildings in India follow a strict fire safety program and undertake the proper precautions. A combination of active and passive fire protection techniques need to be used as per the guidelines. Out of the passive fire protection techniques, the fire door is an indispensable part of modern fire protection ethos used in commercial, residential, or corporate buildings.
The first thing that one needs to check is if the fire door is made of wood or steel. Different types of door materials are suitable for different situations. There can be special applications for a steel fire door, as per the architectural or cladding needs. As a rule of thumb, steel fire doors are made with a polyester coating, and the frame for the steel fire door needs to be made from brick, block, or masonry walls. When it comes to wooden fire doors, it is a little more tricky to nail down. Unlike steel fire doors, which come in the time duration to withstand the fire for 60 to 120 minutes, wooden fire doors are only able to withstand fire for a maximum of 60 minutes, unless specified. The wooden fire doors also require an intumescent seal, and fire retardant paints to prove to be extra effective against protecting the premises against a fire.
Additional aspects one needs to look out for when it comes to fire doors is the minimum door thickness needed for a fire door to be effective. On average, this thickness is placed at a minimum of 5mm, but it can vary on the basis of different brands and manufacturers of fire doors. Matching to type tests are also required when choosing a fire door. The fire rating of the door also needs to be factored in to a great extent as it determines how long will the fire door be able to withstand a fire so that the occupants of a premise can safely evacuate while the emergency services arrive at the scene. Test certificates of door manufacturers need to be paid attention to as well. In India, these specifications and codes include IS3614-1 and other international statues as well.
Fires are among the most dangerous events that can occur in a given building or premise. While the outbreak of a fire might not be under control, the architects and building planners can surely take a step forward in creating fire safe buildings for all its users.