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Fire Rated vs. Fire Exit Door

Here at LaForce, we often hear: “I need a price on a fire door.”

Our first question is always: “Do you mean a door that is fire-rated, or a fire exit door that exits to the exterior of the building for use in an emergency?”

The difference between a fire-rated door and a fire exit door can be night-and-day, but since they are both commonly called “fire doors” in our industry, it confuses many well-intentioned customers. Material that is fire-rated is designed to serve as a fire-stop or partition, to block the spread of fire; while fire exit doors are designed to allow quick and safe egress out of an occupied space, usually to the exterior of the building.

Some common examples:

  • The door with the red exit sign out of the movie theater leading into the parking lot? That would be a fire exit door.
  • The door in your house or place of work that separates flammable storage (like a garage) from the living space? That would be a fire-rated door.

Some fire exit doors can also be fire-rated, like a fire-rated stairwell in a multi-story parking garage.

Confused yet!?

Rely on your LaForce representative to help guide you through the process of determining what you need, and avoid spending extra money on unneeded materials.

Special thanks to Mike Morse, a LaForce Building Products Consultant in Madison, WI