As a small business owner, one of the things you need to be attentive to is the presence of fire doors in your building. Understanding the function and importance of a door like this is important, especially when you are prioritizing employee safety and fire code regulation. Here are some of the things you should know about fire doors for your building.

What Exactly Are Fire and Smoke Doors?

Fire doors are specially designed doors created to provide a safety barrier against smoke and fire. They usually contain a fire-safe material between the two outer door layers, and that material keeps fire from spreading through the door from room to room. These doors are usually airtight enough to keep smoke from passing through as well.

If you invest in doors rated solely for smoke protection, you'll get limited protection against flames. The smoke door will provide that same barrier to keep the air clean on the other side, but won't do much in the way of limiting fire spread. If you invest in any smoke doors, place them along evacuation paths to keep the evacuation route smoke-free for as long as possible.

How Do You Recognize Fire And Smoke Doors?

One of the easiest ways to identify a fire door is the fire-resistant seal that's placed around the outer edges of the door. The seal blocks the smaller air gaps around the door frame, preventing any flames from passing through. Each fire door is rated for a predetermined protection period. Make sure you know what that period is when you invest. You can also tell fire doors by the automatic closing fixture that's usually attached to the top of the door.

The door has to be closed at all times for it to serve the purpose that's intended. Smoke doors typically look similar, but have a smaller gasket around the frame and often appear like traditional doors. In addition, fire and smoke doors are required to be labeled since they are safety features. Make sure you have each door marked with signs that clearly define what they are.

Talk with your local fire inspector and your construction contractor about what your choices are for safety doors in your building. You may find that you need a combination of doors to best suit the overall needs of your structure. With the right planning and the help of a commercial door specialist who can help you get the right doors for each space, you'll be able to protect your building and your employees.