According to information published by the Topical Fire Series reports (Residential Building Garage Fires 2009-2011*), 2% of all residential fires originated in the attached garage of residential buildings. The root cause of many of these fires could also be traced back to the homeowners' basic practices, which is storing flammable substances and other items on the inside of their garage. It is also important to note that 93% of these fires were reported as being in both one- and two-story residential buildings.
Fire Door Between Garage and House
Having said this, you should also know that these reports are now highlighting the fact that these incidents can be avoided. Specifically, since following specific residential fire codes and requirements are essential to keeping the family safe from undue harm and danger. So, to address these critical issues and more, the United States Fire Departments are concerned about homeowners becoming aware of fire code requirements that can prevent injuries and deaths from increasing in future years. Fortunately, there are viable solutions that can assist in these situations, which include the installation of fire rated door garage to house becoming the norm instead of the exception. So, for those of you who are interested in learning more about your city's firewall code, as it relates to residential buildings, here are some facts that you need to know.
Homeowners Must Consider Using Fire Rated Doors
Give Everyone in the Home the Added Time to Escape. When a homeowner considers what types of doors that they want to install to their garage, they may or may not think about the nature of the decision that they make. In fact, unless the homeowner is aware of what types of doors can prevent tragedies from happening, they may only think about the size and aesthetics. Whatever the case or situation, it is very important that homeowners and their families know that this decision is critical to everyone's safety.
Because the fire rated doors that people choose can make a significant difference in whether a family member lives or dies, the owner of the home has to pay special attention to what they are investing in. Hence, each type of fire rated door that is on the market today can be described with specific specifications since it involves how long a family member has to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home. For instance, the owner will have an option to choose between the different types once they understand the need and the related results. Usually, when giving a choice the owner, they will make a decision between those fire rated doors that will give them the following set timing:
- the family has 90 minutes to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home
- the family has 4 hours to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home
Top Cause of Residential Garage Fires (Years 2009 -2011 Statistics)
The push to make sure every homeowner understand the crucial nature of these fires and how they can be avoided, there are a number of different things that homeowners should be educated on well in advance. Some of the most important have been communicated in reports some of the most common issues of concerns during these times. For instance according to NFIRS and On Track Garage Door In Phoenix, here are several incidents that have occurred and the cause of residential garage fires.
Heat from Powered Equipment - 42%
Hot or Smoldering Objects - 18.5%
Open Flame or Smoking Material- 16.9%
Heat Spread From Another Fire- 14.7%
Chemical, Natural Heat Source- 5.9%
Other Heat Source- 6.2%
Explosive, Fireworks- 1.7%
Undetermined - 37.2%
Each of the descriptions above is contributing factors to the reasons why these residential fires are happening and why the types of doors installed on garages and homes are essential. Specifically, as it relates to installing garage firewall code and fire rated door options on the home.
Residential Homes Don't Have Firewalls
Since residential fires can be devastating to the entire family, fires in a home should be taken very seriously. Thankfully, the burden of this responsibility does not have to fall on the homeowner and their families alone to find the best solution. This is because manufacturers in several industries are adding viable solutions to completely eliminate, control and contain the fires in residential places before complete destruction. Particularly, when the home can be built with fire rated door and door housing as a solution to eliminate being a part of these statistics (Doors must be properly maintained and are closed and latched in the event of a fire).
Additionally, with a fire rated garage door installed on the home, the owner can take advantage of the numerous features. For instance, the traditional garage door is often made of wooden materials. Therefore, it is very easy for a fire to burn through these doors and consume them within minutes. On the other hand, when the owner has fire rated doors installed on their homes, these doors have fiberglass and steel materials instead. Which means, the fire is contained much longer and cannot spread as easily from one area in the home to the next. Not only do some doors extend the withstand period, Thermatru, Cornell and other manufacture doors can see max temperatures as high as1400 degrees Fahrenheit (760 °C) and meet NFPA 80 standards.
It is also important to note that the owner has a choice between which ones that they deem as best for them and their needs and preference. Especially, when they are looking for an economical alternative to suit these same purposes. For instance, there are fire rated doors that have a 20-minute-several hours rating, and they can be selected to meet fire department code requirements for residential spaces (check your condo or townhouse, local building codes for any requirements of fire-rated entry or house-to-garage-doors). Because houses don't have 'firewalls', it is recommended at minimum to use solid wood doors not less than 1-3/8" (35 mm) in thickness, solid- or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1-3/8" (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors. To increase level of life safety within a home, look into sprinkler systems**.