A commercial building usually has an access door installed to conceal the building’s components, like electrical wires, cables, HVAC systems, and gas lines. Some of these components are flammable, so the access doors must be fire-rated.
Fire-rated access doors protect these concealed components from being engulfed by flames in the presence of a fire. These fire-rated access doors do not stop and eliminate the fire; their function is only to prevent the fire from spreading.
The “fire-rating” these access panels have means on how efficiently it can resist fire like the fire-rated attic access doors. These ratings will depend on the materials and how is it made. Fire-rated access doors come in two variations; insulated and non-insulated. Insulation means providing access to utilities in spaces like stairwells, where fire ratings are needed.
If you buy a fire-rated access door, you might as well buy the best. Here’s a list and information on what qualities a fire-rated needs to be the best:
Top-of-the-line Fire Protection
The only reason for buying fire-rated access panels is for their fire protection. As mentioned earlier, “fire protection” does not mean eliminating the presence of fire but delaying the fire and smoke from spreading from one area to another.
It also ensures the buildings’ occupants’ safety by providing them enough time to evacuate in the presence of fire and giving the firefighter ample time to extinguish the fire with minimal damage to the building. The occupant’s safety and the building’s components, like wires, electrical cables, plumbing systems, and gas pipes, are protected.
The “delay” these panels provide will depend on the model, and some models can delay the fire and smoke for one hour to one hour and thirty minutes. So if you’re planning to buy one, ask for the ones that provide the most extended delay.
A fire-rated access door’s airtight feature also helps prevent the fire and smoke from spreading. A building with a specific area with air pockets already possesses a significant advantage in fire protection as it helps delay the fire if equipped with a fire-rated access panel with the best airtight feature.
Since it is airtight, it effectively prevents smoke from spreading throughout the establishment. The airtight seal can contain the fire and smoke very quickly when a fire occurs, so this feature is also essential. This feature also prevents any draft from entering a room, which is very useful in cold weather.
Aesthetically Pleasing To The Eye
If you install a fire-rated access door, you might as well do it with style. There are access panels that can blend well on walls or ceilings, so aesthetics is no problem at all. It blends well on the wall and can also be recessed to the wall, giving it a beautiful finish for your commercial building.
Benefits of Having a Fire-Rated Access Door:
- Provides ample time for the building occupants to evacuate during fire emergencies.
- Save the building money on repairs due to property damage.
- Acts as a security door in keeping valuable components safe and secure.
Here are the materials that make a product “fire-rated”:
- Mineral wool
- Gypsum boards
- Asbestos cement
- Perlite boards
- Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium silicate
- Treated lumber plywood and vegetable fiber
- Fire-retardant treated wood
- Cement render
- Intumescent paint
- Magnesium oxide
In answering the question of “where can you get the best fire-rated access doors,” all the sellers sell the “best” fire-rated access doors; it is only up to you on what is best for your commercial building. Research the product to see if it possesses the best qualities regarding fire rating, airlock, and aesthetics. Then you’ll know if it is the best or just another ordinary fire-rated access panel.