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Fire Doors vs. Smoke Doors – What Is The Difference?

Fire doors and smoke doors alike are required in construction by many building codes in order to provide optimal protection to occupants. The expected use of the building (for example, whether it is used as a residential, business, or health care space) determines the exact codes and standards the building must adhere to. Our fire protection experts at BRAND SERVICES can help you determine which doors are best suited for your building in NY, NYC, and Long Island.

Fire Doors Also Function As Smoke Doors

Fire doors can indeed double as smoke doors. However, a smoke door may not necessarily meet the criteria to be considered a fire door. Fire doors are designed to stop the spread of flames and smoke. Smoke doors, on the other hand, are made to stop smoke from spreading into fire escape routes, providing occupants with a clear, non-toxic route to exit the building. A smoke door may not be sufficient to keep actual flames at bay.

To the average eye, fire doors and smoke doors may look similar. While fire doors can have a wide variety of finishes, they very often primarily consist of steel. Smoke doors can also be made of several different materials; however, if you ever need to identify what a door specifically protects against, a certified fire door or certified smoke door will always be clearly labeled with respect to its purpose.

Because being closed is necessary for these doors to work, both fire doors and smoke doors are fitted with self-closing capabilities. Fire doors are often also designed with an additional latch to keep the door from opening under the pressure generated by the high temperatures of flames. Many modern smoke doors are designed in a manner that allows them to sync with smoke detectors. Should the smoke detectors be activated, the corresponding smoke doors will close on demand.

Fire Door & Smoke Door Maintenance

What fire doors and smoke doors have in common is their consistent need to be inspected to ensure they are working properly. If they don’t close properly, neither type of door can prevent damage to the building or protect occupants. Fire and smoke doors should be inspected once annually at minimum, and any damage to the hardware should be reported to the manufacturer or to a local fire professional.

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to fire doors and smoke doors in New England, feel free to contact BRAND SERVICES, serving NY, NYC, Long Island, and all New England, by clicking here or by calling 888.551.4055.

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BRAND SERVICES is the industry leader in passive fire protection and life safety services, including fire door inspections and repairs, fire and smoke damper inspections and repairs, firestopping services, fireproofing services and facility maintenance. BRAND’s service region includes: Connecticut (CT), Massachusetts (MA), Rhode Island (RI), Vermont (VT), New Hampshire (NH), Maine (ME), New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA), Maryland (MD), Washington D.C. (DC), Delaware (DE), Virginia (VA), Ohio (OH), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina(SC), Georgia(GA) and nationwide for large scale projects.

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