Fire Door Gaps – What Are They?
Fire door gaps, also known as thermal bridging, are often overlooked by home owners when installing new fire escapes. But a major failing of older structures is that the doors and the entire front exit of any building will be surrounded by a thick, insulated wall. That wall serves as the thermal blanket for your home, keeping the outside temperature from becoming an unexpectedly hot or cold surprise. By closing these gaps, you can dramatically increase the thermal efficiency of your building and cut energy costs while preserving the integrity of your home’s original architecture.
Because fire door gaps allow hot air to enter your home through a window, without insulation, you will constantly be opening and closing doors to combat the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, wasting heat and money. These gaps look like just a minor issue on the surface, but when a fire starts in your home, they play a significant role in reducing the flames’ efficiency. If the gaps are large enough, the force of hot air blowing in will create fresh oxygen for the fire, giving it a much larger fuel source and allowing it to spread quickly and heavily. This means that any time one of these gaps opens, you are subjecting your home to an enormous increase in the amount of fire heat produced, all of which will have a negative impact on your home’s energy bills.
Some people will attempt to repair the fire doors themselves. They may try to make the interior of the opening smaller by welding or bolting, but this is not a good idea for several reasons. First, it is easy to end up with a weak spot, which will become an easy place for the fire to regroup and start again. Second, repairing the entire window frame may not always solve the problem, because the gaps exist within the frame itself. Finally, while the savings in energy bills may be minimal, it is important to realize that repairing fire doors is an added cost that you are often willing to accept to make the safety of your family and your property better.