Fire Rating

Please note that the local Authority Having Jurisdiction, usually the building or fire inspector, has the final say on what is or is not acceptable in their jurisdiction.

The following is a basic guide to the purchasing of fire rated doors and frames. There are four or five ratings commonly used. There are 20 minute, 45 minute or “C”, 60 minute (wood doors only) or 90 minute, also called “B”, and 3 hour or “A” (metal doors only). The primary purpose of a fire door is presumed to be the protection of life. This basic rule governs what you can do to a fire rated unit. Codes require that almost all modification and machining be done during manufacturing. Field modification voids the fire label. The door assembly must be rated at least 75% of the wall rating, i.e. a 2 hour wall rating requires a 90 minute door.

Fire doors must be self-closing using either a door closer or spring hinges. Hinges must be steel bearing type. Kick down door holders, rubber wedge holders, chains, etc. may not be used on a fire rated assembly. A fire door may be held-open with an electro-magnetic holder or other approved assembly tied into the building fire detection system or with an integral fire detector. Fire doors must be self-latching using an approved latching device. Push/pull handles are not allowed. In most applications you are not permitted to use a deadbolt in combination with another latching device since this would hinder a quick escape.

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