Fire doors can save lives if they're properly installed, they're made of the right material, and they have the right dimensions to meet fire codes. One potential problem with doors that are intended for use as fire doors is a gap above, below, or around the perimeter of the door. Sometimes these gaps happen over time as a building naturally settles. Fortunately, these gaps can be filled with products called fire door gap fillers. Here are the pros and cons of this product.
Helps Meet Code
The most obvious advantage of fire door gap fillers is that they will do the job effectively, which means filling gaps above, under, or around the door to create a true fire and smoke seal. The National Fire Protection Association allows a maximum bottom gap of 3/4" and a perimeter gap of 1/8" along the top and vertical edges for swinging fire doors. If your current door has gaps larger than those requirements, gap fillers will take care of the problem.
Using fire door gap fillers is a cost-effective way to improve a fire door that isn't up to code. Buildings often settle over time, so a door that once met all the requirements can develop gaps as time passes and the building shifts. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to replace the entire door or hiring a contractor to re-hang the door, fire door gap fillers can be a cheaper solution.
Protect Public Funding
Buildings like hospitals and health clinics must undergo regular fire code inspections in order to receive funding from programs like Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Even a small problem like a gap that doesn't meet the code can result in a loss of vital funds that these health centers rely on. A tiny problem can quickly turn into a funding nightmare. A fire door gap filler is a simple solution that keeps doors up to code so they can pass inspection and keep people safe.
Not DIY Installation
Because these gap fillers are designed to keep smoke and fire out to keep a building safe, it's imperative that they must be installed correctly. That requires installation expertise from an experienced contractor or carpenter. Improper installation may result in the failure of the product or can create holes in the door from removed or rearranged hardware that lessens the effectiveness of the gap filler. Expert installation is a must. Don't try to install the product yourself if you have no previous experience with these products.
For more information on fire door gap fillers, contact a professional near you.