What are fire doors for?
The fire protection door stops a fire for a defined time. This makes it a measure of preventive fire protection. Incidentally, experts refer to the fire protection door as a fire protection closure. The term fire door is more common. That's why I'm sticking with it below.
How do fire doors work?
The outer layer of the fire protection door consists of non-combustible steel or aluminium. As with people, fire protection doors depend on their inner values. The inner layer made of Perlite, mineral wool or mineral fiber boards conducts heat poorly. This means that the door can withstand the fire. The objects in the protected space heat up more slowly and are not ignited or only ignited later. An inner layer made of heat-resistant glass is also possible. This video explains how fire doors work.
Which fire must the fire protection doors withstand?
In construction there is the so-called ISO standard fire curve. The curve conservatively covers fires in building construction.
What types of fire doors exist?
Fire protection doors withstand the ISO standard fire for different lengths of time. When a door is called "T30", it means the door can withstand ISO standard fire for 30 minutes. The building codes call this time fire retardant. There are the following fire protection doors:
- Fire retardant (designation T30);
- highly fire retardant (T60);
- fire Resistant (T90);
- highly Fire Resistant (T120);
- highest fire resistance (T180).
Fire doors in public buildings
The building regulations require fire protection doors in buildings in which many people are present at the same time. Or in buildings that house vulnerable people. Examples for this are:
- Universities and schools;
- administrative building and office building;
- apartment buildings;
- retirement homes.
Fire doors in a family home
Fire doors between the garage and the house
In garages, garden furniture, electrical appliances, and colors stand harmoniously side by side. Not to mention highly flammable substances such as petrol. Maybe even a car😉. In short, a lot of fire loads. For this reason, the building regulations require the fire protection separation of garage and house. If the garage is right next to the house, the connecting door must be a fire door. This prevents a fire from spreading from the garage to the house.
Fire protection doors in basements
The situation is similar in basements. Fire loads also accumulate here. Fires in basements are dangerous because the residents of the house usually discover them late. As a result, the fire can fill the basement and the rooms above with smoke, making escape more difficult.
Do fire protection doors also help against smoke?
Speaking of smoke. A fire door does not prevent smoke from entering. Unless it has additional seals. This upgrades the fire protection door to a fire protection door with smoke protection. These doors are called e.g. "T30 RS", which is a fire-resistant fire protection door (abbreviation T30) with additional smoke protection (abbreviation RS).
Are there other designations for fire protection doors?
Yes, there are. For example, the designation "T60-1" stands for a single-leaf, highly fire-retardant fire protection door. And behind "T30-2" a double-leaf, fire-retardant fire door.
Which fire doors are approved?
The German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt) issues the building authority approval for fire protection doors. The approval is valid for five years. Manufacturers can apply to extend the approval. You may not install a door without approval. A sign on each fire protection door provides information about the DIBt approval number, the manufacturer and the year of manufacture. If this sign is missing or removed, the approval as a fire barrier expires. Or there was never an approval.
What about glazing in fire doors?
The glass pane has the same fire resistance as the fire door.
How expensive is a fire door?
The price depends on the equipment and the intended type of wall. A guide value is 400 to 500 euros. Glazed doors are more expensive (approx. from 1000 euros). If the door seals against smoke, the price increases by about 20%.