When doors need to keep people and elements out, there are various safety features that make that possible. This post will help you determine which safety features you need for your commercial door installation or upgrade.
Defining Your Security Needs
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What types of access are needed?
- How much traffic goes in and out of the door?
- Where is the door located? What is the space like?
- What safety requirements are needed for your business and that space?
Choosing Door Materials
The door itself determines much of its security. Commercial doors can be made of a variety of materials that impact their strength, fire rating, and durability.
Metal doors are best when you need the utmost security. They are the hardest to break into and the most secure in a fire.
Laminate doors are made of a composite core with a plastic shell. They are durable and suitable for both outdoor and high-traffic applications. The composite core is made of fire-retardant materials, so you can get a fire-rating with these doors. Many people appreciate the lower cost of these doors compared with metal doors.
Wood doors are strong doors that can be fire rated for added protection in the event of a fire. Veneers can increase the customization options for wood doors. They are better for interior applications than outdoor applications because they can warp over time when exposed to the elements.
Fire ratings are the length of time a door is expected to hold back smoke and flames in the event of a fire. They are not usually meant to keep fire out forever, but to buy occupants enough time to exit the building safely.
Doors can be rated to withstand fire for 20, 45, 60, or 90 minute periods. You may need more or less depending on your building’s size, design, and expected occupancy. When choosing a door, consider the outside and core materials, and if there are two separate materials, to be sure they provide the fire rating you need.
Security starts with the hinges. Select mortise hinges like butt hinges or ball-bearing hinges that are adhered to the wall rather than simply screwed in. Ball-bearing hinges are the strongest possible hinges.
There are a few lock options to choose from. The first level of protection is to add a deadbolt, either manual or electronic. Swing locks are good options for securing a room from intruders while someone is inside the room, sort of like a chain lock on a residential door. Mortise locks are made with a cutout in the door frame, increasing the difficulty of breaking into or damaging the door. These are the strongest locks available.
Door closers also enhance security by ensuring the doors shut within a specified period of time. Manual, high-security, and electronic options are available.
Door Security Features
Most businesses also use alarms to protect their properties from break-ins. There are many options to choose from. Some make a loud, obnoxious noise to scare away intruders and alert authorities, while others are silent and only alert the authorities.
RFID locks use Radio Frequency Identification and electronic tags to control who can access a building or certain areas of a building. Biometric scanners perform the same function but rely on physical characteristics like fingerprints or face scans to prove a person’s identity.
Call Cypress Door & Glass
Cypress Door and Glass are commercial door experts, and we can help you navigate the complicated world of commercial doors to find the options that fit your needs and your budget. Contact us today for a free estimate.