Concept & Control Measures of Fire Door and Shutter
Fire door and shutter are fire prevention equipment that prevent fire/smoke spread and ensure adequate time for employees/occupants to evacuate when a fire breaks out in a building. If they are not installed and functioned properly, fire might spread and cause extensive damage to property and casualties. This article describes the basic structure and maintenance points of fire door and fire shutter.
2. STRUCTURE OF FIRE DOOR AND SHUTTER
A fire door, including frame, meets the requirements of high fire-resistance, integrity, and insulation. The main components are doorway, frame, handle lock, lever, hinge, and door closer, etc. Open/Close adjuster, evacuation lever electromagnetic locks may also be installed in the door to enhance the reliability.
Fire shutter is required a strictly fire resistance to prevent the spread of fire, and its thickness and weight is larger than other shutters. There are two types of fire shutter: “automatic” and “manual”. Automatic fire shutter is commonly adopted as a mainstream type. Automatic fire shutter is designed to activate when smoke detector detects a fire. On the other hand, most of the manual fire shutters come down by pushing the emergency manual button.
3. FIRE ACCIDENT CASE
Feb. 2017: Miyoshi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Fire broke out in a large-scale warehouse and the fire shutters in two-thirds of the warehouse failed to operate properly, causing the fire spread and burn down the buildings. Investigation after the accident revealed that the electrical wiring of the fire detectors had short-circuit for some reason, and fire alarm was not transmitted to the fire shutters. It took 12 days to extinguish the fire, and the amount of damage was approximately 10 billion yen.
4. MAINTENANCE POINTS
- It is recommended to install normally-closed fire door, except in areas where normally-open fire door is more appropriate/practical due to operational requirements. Put the signage “close fire door at all times” near the normally-closed fire door.
- Except for some special reasons (i.e. door has auto-lock system), fire door should be opened manually from inside and outside.
- To ensure that fire shutter can close smoothly in an emergency, prohibit storage of materials under the shutter, put up warning signage and strengthen management system to secure the space in vicinity of the shutter.
- For fire shutters that close with linked to heat or smoke detectors, periodically check that the detectors and interlocking system are maintained in good working condition.
- To reduce the ignition risk by radiant heat, install signage and demarcation lines prohibiting storage of combustible materials around the shutter.
- To ensure that fire shutter can activate in case of power failure, provide backup power supply and keep the manual control device readily accessible.
- To ensure that the shutter can be activated remotely in an emergency, install a well maintained remote control system in the central control room.