A Fire Door Separating Your Home From the Garage is Essential

Many aspects of house design often go overlooked. Sometimes safety is the most important detail that is missing. Take the following question, for example: “Does the door from my garage to my house have to be fireproof or different from the other doors in my house?”

The answer is a resounding “YES”. Outside of the kitchen, the garage is the most likely room of the house to initiate a fire. When you think of all of the combustible elements it contains, gasoline, paint thinner, noxious chemicals, the chance of fire is too great not to protect against spreading. A fire rated door is designed to contain a fire from blasting through it. The time it buys could mean the difference between safe evacuation and tragedy.

If your garage is separated from your house, you have natural prevention. The space between the buildings can act as the fire barrier. However most homes have the garage connected to the living space. In these cases it is important to adhere to a few guidelines. The International Residential Building Code, which has been adopted in many locales, requires a 20-minute fire rated door, a solid wood, or solid or honeycomb core steel door of not less than 1 3/8″ thickness.

I recommend choosing a door which the 20-minute fire rated door. This designation means that the door has been tested to withstand penetration by a fire for at least 20 minutes. The door should have a label which states that it has been tested by the Underwriters Laboratory for safety and state its rating. If you want more security, you can always exceed the minimum rating and install a door with an even higher rating.

Household fires are far too common. Protection codes and sensible storage should not be taken lightly. Fire-rated doors, along with smoke alarms, will let you sleep at night knowing your family is safe.