Security doors are an important component of building safety. In particular, fire-rated doors can survive prolonged fire exposure, helping block the passage of smoke and fire from one room to another. 

From houses and hospitals to school buildings and commercial structures, installing fire-rated doors is part of the safety protocol building owners and managers should comply with. However, not all fire-rated doors are the same. In the infographic below, you will learn more about fire-rated doors: their materials, components, and ratings. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Fire-rated Doors

What are Fire-rated Doors?

Fire-rated doors are specialized doors that prevent the spread of fire and smoke in a structure during a fire. For instance, if a fire breaks in the classroom, an installed fire-rated door will contain the fire and prevent it from spreading into the corridor.

Some fire-rated doors include features that prevent radiant and conductive heat transfer. As such, fire-rated doors allow for a faster and more efficient evacuation in case of emergency as the occupants will not be obstructed by smoke or harmed by heated doors when exiting. 

Common Materials of Fire-rated Doors 

When buying a fire-rated door, commercial door suppliers will present you with options as to the products’ materials. You must understand what those materials are, so you can properly choose which fire-rated door is right for your establishment.

Hollow metal

Hollow metal is the most popularly used material in fire-rated framing. It is made from steel sheets shaped into various profiles and cold-rolled to a certain thickness. Hollow metal frames are called “hollow” because of the open throat that enables the frame to anchor to the wall around it. Aside from fire-rated doors, hollow metal is also used in fire-rated openings, sidelites, and transoms. 


Aluminum is a sturdy material choice for businesses. Apart from being non-combustible, it is more cost-effective than other materials like wood. It can be combined with timber, steel, and gypsum to create a more fire-resistant door.


Manufacturers of fire-rated doors use various types of glass. Old technology like filmed wire glass and filmed or laminated ceramics are common, but they are limited to 100 sq. inches in doors 60 minutes and above. New technology fire-resistive glass tested to ASTM E-119/UL 263 can be used in full vision door lites in 60 and 90-minute doors because they can limit the passage to dangerous radiant heat.   


Some fire-rated doors include a wood component. For decades, 20-minute iterations have been used. Nowadays, wood is combined with specialty materials to create fire-rated doors with 45-minute, 60-minute, and even 90-minute ratings.

Components of a Fire-rated Door

There’s more to a fire-rated door assembly than the door and frame. Let’s take a closer look into its components.

Door hardware

Door hardware includes protection plates, door-position switches, closing devices, hinges, and latching mechanisms. All these hardware parts must pass a certification process before they can be attached or incorporated into the assembly. 

Vision lite

Some fire-rated doors have a vision lite glazed with fire-rated glass installed in them. This allows one to see what’s on the other side of the door during a fire and check whether it is safe for them to move to the other side as they try to find a safe exit path or alternate route.  

Gasket and seal

Fire-rated doors are designed to be kept closed and completely sealed in case of a fire. This is where seals and gaskets come in. These materials fill the gap between the door and frame, preventing the spread of toxic gases and smoke during a fire.  

Fire-rated Door Ratings

Fire door assemblies are rated based on how long they can withstand flames and control smoke during a fire. Here are some of the most common fire ratings. 


Fire-rated doors with this rating provide fire resistance and smoke control for up to three hours. Titan Metal Products’ Builders Series 3-Hour Temperature-Rise Doors fall under this category. These USA-manufactured door assemblies are listed and labeled by UL and Intertek. 

They are available in sizes up to 48 in. x 96 in. with vision lites up to 100 sq. in. They also come with a five-year warranty. The door thickness ranges from 1 ¾ in. to 3 in. 

Fire doors with a 180-minute rating are ideal for both interior and exterior applications, such as horizontal exits in firewalls. 


Fire-rated doors with this rating can withstand flames for an hour and a half. These doors are best installed in interior exit ramps, shaft enclosures, and interior exit stairways.

Titan Metal Products’ Builders Series 60-90-Minute Temperature-Rise Doors are examples of this fire rating category. These full-vision fire doors are tested to NFPA 252/UL 10B/UL 10C up to 10 ft. tall.

Depending on your preference, they can come in full-vision glazing, standard profiles, or narrow profiles. Multiple hardware selections and finishes are also available, including custom aluminum clad and stainless-steel clad options.


Fire-rated doors with this rating provide fire protection for 60 minutes. They can be installed in enclosures for shafts, exit access ramps, and exit access stairways with a one-hour required fire-resistance rating.

Titan Metal Products’ Builders Series 60-90-Minute Temperature-Rise Doors can withstand flames for 60 to 90 minutes. Also, these full-vision doors are tested with clear SuperLite® II-XL fire-resistive glazing by SAFTI FIRST


Fire-rated doors with this rating provide fire resistance and smoke control for 45 minutes. They are often installed in interior one-hour fire barriers and one-hour exterior walls.

Titan Metal Products’ Builders Series 20-45-Minute Fire-Protective Doors are available in standard and custom finishes, including aluminum clad and stainless steel clad selections. Listed and labeled by UL and Intertek, these USA-made fire doors are tested with SuperLite® I-20-minute or SuperClear 45-HS and SuperClear 45-HS-LI fire protective glazing by SAFTI FIRST. 


Fire-rated doors with this rating provide fire protection for 20 minutes. They are ideal for interior one-hour corridor walls and fire partitions.

Titan Metal Products’ 20-Minute Aluminum Door is a full vision, 20-minute stile and rail aluminum door with matching aluminum door frame. It can be used in single and pair doors up to 9 ft. high and glazed with SuperLite® I-20-minute fire-protective glazing by SAFTI FIRST. 

Improve Your Building Safety 

Fire-rated doors are vital to building safety. They prevent the spread of flames and smoke during a fire, enabling occupants to safely exit the premises. 

If you need fire-rated doors or frames to improve your building safety, Titan Metal Products offers a range of temperature-rise doors with custom fabrication. Browse through our catalog today to see suitable options for your establishment!