Think about what is regularly stored inside a garage; lawnmowers, automobiles, and the oil and gas contained inside each piece of machinery. Items like these, all within proximity of one another, make the garage a hotbed of potential fire-starting material. If you let your imagination run wild, a hundred scenarios that can cause a house fire will pop into your head.
Now, what’s standing between your garage and home? The entry door.
What is a Fire Door? What does a Fire Door do for your home?
This particular entry door is referred to as a fire door. The purpose of a fire door is to hold off a garage fire from entering the home.
Older Homes at Risk
Inadequate entry doors in this entry point are mostly seen within older homes. Chances are that this entry door is a hollow core door comprised of two thin plywood layers with nothing filling the empty space. This style of door will not protect again garage fires. In fact, this material will easily fuel a fire. The obvious lack of safety here is why national fire codes were developed.
Omaha’s Fire Door Regulation
In the city of Omaha, residential doors leading to the garage must be 20-minute fire rated. This means the door can hold back flames from spreading into your home for a minimum of 20 minutes. This window of time gives you the opportunity to reach safety and possibly enough time to extinguish a garage fire before the rest of your home is up in flames.
How do Fire Doors and Standard Doors differ?
The simple answer is the special materials used throughout a fire door.
- Door’s Core
Auto-froth foam fills the space within the door slabs. The auto-froth foam acts as insulation day-to-day, BUT in an event of a garage fire, the foam swells within the door’s core putting pressure on the door frame creating a tight barrier from the garage.
- Weather Stripping
The type of weather stripping used on a fire door is tested and UL certified to resist flames. UL Solutions is a safety organization that sets industry-wide safety standards for various products. You can look at your door to see if the UL Certified Seal is present.
A fire door has two spring-loaded hinges. Spring-loaded hinges are engineered to swing the door shut avoiding the possibility of the door accidentally being left open and your home without a barrier from a garage fire.
- Deadbolt and Doorknob
The exterior of both the deadbolt and doorknob will look normal, but internally, the mechanism is fire rated. You will find a UL Certified logo for these parts too.
- Door’s Core
Finding The Fire Rated Door Label
A fire door is required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to have a fire-rated label that remains legible throughout the lifespan of the door. You will find the fire-rated label on the door’s edge on the hinge side.
If you cannot find the door label, there is no proof the door has been inspected and meets required safety standards. Your next step should be to have a certified fire door installed.
Contact Omaha Door & Window to install a fire door. All the hardware used by ODW is UL certified to meet city and state fire codes. ODW also offers standard and custom-size fire doors to fit all entry openings. If you are in the middle of renovating your home, we also have a variety of styles and color options for you to select from. A fire door can both protect your home AND match its aesthetic.
Come visit our Showroom to see our doors in person!
Fire doors are really that important
As you said, fire door requirements are included within the applicable building or fire code. It consists of a Fire Door Gap Filler, relevant for the fire door so that that fire won’t get inside the room. So in case, a fire may happen, the space would be safe.
I opened my fire door (the door between the garage and our home) and I heard a pop and now I noticed that the tension of the door is not as tight as it was. What happened? How can I fix this? I’m in the Silver Spring, MD area and I would like to know who can I call to get this fixed.
Thank you so much !
You will have to locate a local door company that will work on fire doors. You could probably use google to find someone. Good luck on getting it fixed.