The maintenance of a fire rated door
A fire door in high risk industries, e.g. the onshore/offshore oil and gas industry, is a significant safety feature of the structure. It provided a sufficient barrier to prevent or delay the spread of fire and smoke while allowing people to evacuate. Especially in the offshore oil and gas industry and offshore wind industry this is of lifesaving importance since emergency services need more time to get to these sites.
Some environments can be very tough on doors. Fire rated doors might get damaged in the long run by the passing of people, which is inevitable. The smallest deficiencies or cracks can compromise the operability and fire safety characteristics of the fire door, therefore, such doors are in need of regular maintenance in order to ensure day-to-day operability and safety.
Maintenance challenges for fire rated doors
Maintenance work for fire rated doors is generally needed for superficial damage, structural damage and excessive bowing or deformation. Eventually in depends on how much traffic passes daily through the doors on how often maintenance is needed. A fire rated door that is used very often on a daily basis is in need of more routine checks than a door that is, for instance, only used during emergencies.
Fire doors can show damages on the gaps between de door leaves and frames and between the edges of double doors. Close attention need to be paid that these gaps do not increase. If they do, the door will be in clear need of reparation.
Another point of attention are the door seals. During fire hazards these seals are expected to be perform correctly and seal the door leaves and frames, so fire and smoke will not be able to pass. Two main types of seals are generally tested and applied on fire rated doors namely, intumescent seals and smoke restricting seals. Both types should be checked regularly. If, during checks, it is determined that seals are damaged and/or deteriorated, they should be replaced.
Legal rules for maintenance
First and foremost, it is legally required of manufacturers to proof proper operation of fire rated products and solutions by testing and providing test evidence. There are strict rules for test worldwide to which fire rated doors should comply to. Furthermore, it is also a must to be accredited by a third party such as Lloyds Register, ABS, US Coast Guard (USCG), GOST and DNV. Type approvals from these parties assure that products have been independently tested and are consistently manufactured to a high standard.
High performance and high quality fire rated doors are cost-effective since they do not require as much maintenance as cheaper products. The life cost of the doors is therefore lower because excessive maintenance and replacing work is excluded.
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