How to Install a Fire Rated Door

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Building codes require fire-rated doors in fire-rated walls, for doors opening into areas that contain hazardous materials, such as storage areas where paint and other flammables are stored; exit stairwells; and other situations dictated by your local building codes. Fire doors are made of materials that are very slow to burn, for example, steel and gypsum. They're designed to keep fire on the other side of the door long enough to give a room's occupants time to escape or firefighters time to put out the fire. If you can install a regular door, you'll be capable of installing a fire door, but you keep certain requirements in mind.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Drill driver
  • Fire-rated hinges
  • Screws or bolts
  • Fire-rated latch
  • Pneumatic door closer
  • Determine if your door frame is fire-rated. You can't install a fire-rated door in a regular door frame. Look for a plate affixed to the frame that indicates it is fire-rated. If in doubt, purchase a fire door and frame together. Remove the old door frame and install the new, fire-rated frame in its place.

  • Attach fire-rated hinges to the door. These will be labeled as fire rated. Drill pilot holes for the screws and use the fire-rated screws or bolts sold with the hinges to attach the hinges to the door and to the frame. If your door is equipped with inner blocking, attach the hinges with No. 12 screws. Otherwise, you must use bolts long enough to pass all the way through the door.

  • Install a fire-rated latch in the holes pre-drilled in the door. Attach the latch with either No. 12 screws, if the door has inner blocking, or bolts. Only one latch may be used. Fire doors may not be equipped with separate deadbolts.

  • Install an automatic door closer. These pneumatic closers shut the door automatically after the door is opened. OSHA regulations require that fire doors be self-closing, since an open door does nothing to impede fire.

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