​What Do Access Door Fire Ratings Mean? 

Posted by Fire Safety Equipment on 7th Nov 2022

​What Do Access Door Fire Ratings Mean? 

Fire safety is a serious business. In fact, in 2019, almost 1,300,000 non-residential buildings across the U.S. were subjected to fires, costing $14.8 billion in property damage. In addition, 2019 racked up a daunting 16,600 personal injuries. 

Commercial buildings have safety issues, including higher traffic and more people than residential homes. It's also common for you to see commercial structures used for cooking, manufacturing, or electrical procedures. These increase the chances of a fire breaking out. 

These factors add to one thing: you must protect your non-residential building with the best safety equipment you're willing to get. In this article, you'll find out what an access door rating is, the different ratings available for installation, and how to maintain fire doors, so you and your employees stay safe. 

What is a Fire-Rated Access Door?

Fire-rated access doors fall within the "passive fire protection" category. Meaning designers build these access doors to contain fires in an area for some time rather than allowing the fire to spread. 

To fully take advantage of these access panels' fire protection, you must install the access doors with the recommended hardware and sealant. Ignoring manufacturer recommendations for installation increases the risk that you void the fire rating, thus increasing hazards in your building. 

Check our selection for the BEST fire-rated access doors, and make it easy to protect your office!

Types of Fire-Rated Access Panels

Because of its high melting point, you'll commonly see fire-rated access doors made from high heat-resistant materials such as galvanized stainless steel. In addition, you also have a variety of options available, such as: 

No matter what type of access door you choose for your building, check the fire rating and make sure the door meets all current safety codes. Double-checking your compliance with local building codes will allow you to pass safety inspections and ensure your investment does not go to waste.

What the Ratings Mean 

You may have a variety of requirements for your access doors. Perhaps you'll want other areas, like emergency exits and stairwells have better fire protection than other areas. You can rely on the fire rating label when looking for your next access doors.

Here are the two different ratings and what each means: 

NFPA 80 

NFPA 80 is the standard for fire doors and the minimum safety rating in your non-residential building. 

It includes: 

  • Exit doors 
  • Fire exit windows 
  • Other exit points 

Your fire door must meet the following minimum requirements to be rated NFPA 80. (Please note that this list might not be exhaustive. It's vital to do your research by looking through your NFPA Guidelines before installing a fire-rated access door.) 

  • No gaps or open holes
  • The door and all hardware are secure, properly aligned, and in working order 
  • No broken, missing, or faulty hardware or parts 
  • Nothing is physically blocking the operation of the door 

NFPA 105 

Technically, NFPA 105 is not a designation for fire doors. Instead, it is a standard for smoke doors. Smoke doors inhibit smoke from traveling to other parts of a building.  

While you can rely on a door's fire rating to halt the spread of fire for a specific time, not all of them can stop the spread of smoke. Make sure the door you choose is rated to cover this hazardous issue. The door must meet both NFPA 80 and NFPA 105 standards to be as protective as possible in various scenarios.

Prevention is Your Best Protection 

Safety ratings are there for a reason, so ensure you follow the fire safety codes regardless of what fire-safe access door you choose. Even a tiny defect in the door or improper installation could create severe damage to your investment later on down the road. Don't wait for the worst to happen. Buy your best fire-rated floor hatch now.

Get Your Access Doors at Fire Safety Equipment Today!

We prioritize your safety at Fire Safety Equipment by providing only top-of-the-line equipment you can trust. Our product experts are available at (855) 916-3473 and are ready 24/7 to answer all your questions. In case you're looking to fill a niche, we also offer you various options, like a Custom Fire Extinguisher Cabinet. 

Your peace of mind is priceless, so install the proper access doors in your building. Luckily, the fire-rated access doors are more accessible than ever to obtain at Fire Safety Equipment!