Where Are Fire Doors Required

Fire Doors

Fire doors are required in certain areas, but not all–fire code requirements vary by cities and states. Where do you live? Where are fire doors required in your city or state? Well, let us first understand what fire doors are and where they need to be used.

What Are Fire Doors?

The International Building Code (IBC) requires that “required” fire doors be equipped with an automatic closing device, except when the building is protected throughout with a smoke detection system capable of automatically initiating the release of the smoke detection system.

The IBC defines a “required” fire door as:

“A door opening into an exit, or which serves as an exit, including doors to stairways serving as exits, but not including interior corridor doors. A door is also a required fire door located between a Group A occupancy and an adjacent Group B occupancy or between a Group A occupancy and an unclassified occupancy.

Where are They Required?

The type of business, the design of the building, and the fire exit location will all influence the fire door category. In cases where property preservation is essential, fire doors that protect for more than 60 minutes are sometimes specified. However, the primary consideration is always the protection of life.

Some familiar places where fire doors are required include:

  • Between public areas and corridors,
  • In exit stairways,
  • In elevator shafts,
  • In building lobbies,
  • In smoke-tight partitions,
  • In hazardous materials storage rooms,
  • In kitchen exhaust ducts,
  • Near heating and cooling equipment

The specific requirements for fire doors will vary depending on the building’s occupancy classification and other factors. It is essential to consult with a local fire official to determine precisely where fire doors are required in your building.

The Benefits of Using Fire Doors

While fire doors are required in specific locations to provide adequate protection from fire, they also come with their own set of benefits. Some expected benefits include:

  • Stopping the spread of fire
  • Reducing the amount of smoke in a building
  • Limiting the amount of heat that enters or leaves a building
  • Helping maintain a comfortable temperature in a building

Fire Doors Can Prevent Fire Spread

Fire doors can play a vital role in helping to stop the spread of fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “A single-fire-door assembly can delay a fire for more than an hour and prevent it from spreading to the next compartment or floor.”

One of the most common locations where fire doors are required is in elevator shafts. These doors add another layer of protection for elevators and building occupants. Without these doors, the heat and flames from a fire could easily travel up the elevator shaft and cause extensive damage.

Maintaining Fire Doors

Like any other piece of equipment, fire doors require regular maintenance to continue performing at their best. Some tips for maintaining fire doors include:

  • Inspect the door for damage regularly
  • Check the door’s close and latch features to make sure they work properly
  • Ensure the door sees appropriate use, such as being used only in exits and between public areas and corridors.

How Can Fire Doors Be Checked For Proper Operation?

One common challenge with implementing and maintaining fire doors is ensuring that they are adequately maintained. Fire doors should be routinely inspected to ensure that they are not damaged or blocked from opening. Due to their abundance of use, it is not uncommon for them to become jammed or obstructed. If this occurs, it is essential to take immediate action to correct the situation to maintain the safety of the occupants.

Other Types Of Doors That Can Provide Protection From Fires

Several types of fire doors are available, including those made from steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. The most critical factor in selecting a fire door is ensuring that it has been tested and certified to meet the requirements of your local building code.

Some other doors that may protect against fires include self-closing fire-rated door assemblies and smoke- and draft-control door assemblies. However, it is essential to remember that these doors are not as effective as solid fire doors and should only be used last.

Can Fire Doors Be Used for Other Purposes, Such As Noise Control Or Privacy?

Today, it is common for fire doors to be used with electrical wiring and other penetrations to provide sound and heat insulation and noise control. Though this installation strategy does not meet code requirements, it can still be approved through an appropriate exception or variance request.

Another everyday use for fire doors is to provide privacy between spaces. For example, a fire door can separate a public waiting area from the employee-only areas of a business.

However, it is essential to remember that these doors are not intended as a security barrier. They should not be used where there is a need to maintain constant visual access into the space or where restricting passage through the door could result in injury, fatalities, or other serious consequences. If using fire doors for privacy, ensure that you meet all local code requirements.

Fire Doors: Tips for Safe Use

It is essential to use fire doors safely to ensure they provide the protection they are meant to. Some tips for safely using fire doors include:

  • Do not prop open a fire door
  • Keep exit paths clear and free of obstruction
  • Close the fire doors behind you as you exit the building.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Fire Doors?

While fire doors come with a range of benefits, they also have a few disadvantages. Some common disadvantages include:

  • They can be difficult to open
  • They can be a hindrance to evacuation in the event of a fire
  • They can create noise pollution


In conclusion, fire doors are an essential part of any building’s fire protection system. They play a crucial role in stopping the spread of fire and limiting the amount of smoke and heat entering or leaving a building. While they come with a few disadvantages, the benefits they provide far outweigh them. As a result, it is vital to ensure that all buildings have adequate fire doors installed in the appropriate locations.

It is wise to prepare preventive measures for accidents such as fire. Find the right name to help you create a workplace that will protect you in case of fire. Industrial Door Company of Chicago, Inc. can help you. For more information, please contact us.

Get your free quote

Contact now