Fire incidents can happen anytime, especially in commercial buildings open to passersby. Thus, as a business owner, you must equip your establishment with fire safety utilities that will help immediately put out or, at the very least, contain the spread of fire and lessen the damages. Apart from fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, it would be best to consider furnishing your facilities with fire-rated access panels.
In this blog post, you’ll discover the four main advantages of installing fire-rated access doors. Moreover, the article will also provide valuable tips for choosing the most appropriate door according to your needs. But before that, let’s first give a brief overview of fire-rated access doors.
What are Fire-Rated Access Panels?
Fire-Rated Access Panels are one of the most highly recommended commercial doors to safeguard your vital building facilities, including plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and many other systems. This tool is outstanding among its peer panels because it can withstand fire and heat exposure for quite a long time, giving time for your visitors and employee to evacuate and the fire department to control the fire.
There is a wide range of options for you to choose from among fire-rated access doors, which can be both a blessing and a nightmare. For non-construction professionals, selecting the best access door for your space can be a complex decision.
Hence, it’s crucial to seek an expert’s help. You can choose depending on areas, like fire-rated ceiling access panels for your establishment’s roof or attics. If you aim to pick the fire-rated access panels that stand long against fire circumstances, you can classify them according to fire-resistance ratings:
- 4-hour: The fire-rated panels can hold standard fire exposure for four hours before the structure collapses. It’s the most extended fire-resistance rating an access door can offer.
- 3-hour: Fire-rated panels that can endure standard fire exposure for three hours before the unit breaks down and the fire spreads further.
- 2-hour: These fire-rated access doors can resist spreading fire for two long hours.
- 1-hour: Lastly, the 1-hour fire-rated panels can hold off total establishment destruction for only an hour, so it’s only ideal for small buildings with few passersby coming in and out or those near fire agencies.
Remember that these fire ratings follow the National Fire Protection Assembly’s (NFPA) Life Safety Code No. 101.
Four critical reasons to install fire-rated access panels
1. Contain the spread of fire
With built-in sturdy components, the fire-rated access doors’ primary purpose is to withstand the fire heat for a specific period, preventing the small fire from turning into a massive blaze that will be extra difficult to put off. Therefore, furnishing your commercial building’s walls, ceilings, and floors with fire-rated panels is an intelligent way to make your area fireproof for an essential time.
2. Give enough time to evacuate and call fire departments
As stated, you can classify fire-rated access panels into various fire ratings and choose the perfect one that matches the nature of your commercial space. Consider all the variables before you decide, like the size of your building and how far the nearest fire department is. This way, you can always assure that no fire circumstances will hurt your business badly.
3. Reduce property damages
The fire-rated access doors have all the correct elements to help the building combat vast fires. More importantly, the materials exhibit fire-resistance ratings of 4-hour, 3-hour, 2-hour, and 1-hour, giving enough time to control its widespread. It lessens the potential damages or even avoids casualties.
4. Directly contributes to LEED certification
If your commercial building aims to accomplish LEED certification, adding fire-rated access panels around the area will aid you in bagging the license. Once achieved, your business can enjoy many financial, environmental, and health benefits.
Make your building fire-ready
The fire-rated access panels are your best weapon to curb the disastrous development of fire in your commercial building. Having these utilities around your walls, floors, and ceilings can provide you sufficient time to lead visitors and employees to evacuation and for the concerned emergency agencies to show up and control the fire. It can prevent tremendous damage, saving you from huge expenses at the same time.