Top 5 Garage Door Accessibility and Safety Additions

When we think about upgrading our homes, garage doors might not be the priority but they’re still important for accessibility and safety. We’ll explore five innovative types of garage doors that enhance both of these two aspects. From fire-rated doors that are an essential component of fire safety to garage doors with built-in entry doors for convenience. Also side garage doors for space efficiency, and even specialized doors equipped with cat and dog gates for your pets. Each section contributes insightful information on the benefits and considerations of these garage door accessibility and safety additions. 

Fire Rated Door for Garage

Building codes mandate that any garage attached to your home must have at least an FD30 (a fire door with a 30-minute fire rating) fire rated door. This special type of door withstands extreme temperatures and resists the spread of fire. It is a crucial barrier that can help protect your home and give your family more time to safely evacuate in the event of a fire.

Purpose and Importance:

The primary purpose of a fire-rated garage door is to slow down the spread of fire and smoke from the garage to other parts of your home. Flammable materials like gasoline, paints, and cleaning supplies often fill garages, posing potential fire hazards. A fire-rated door is essential to contain the fire within the garage and prevent it from swiftly spreading into living areas. Investing in a fire-rated door is complying to code and provides peace of mind, knowing that you have taken a significant step towards protecting your home and loved ones from the dangers of fire.

Choosing a Fire Rated Door for Your Home:

When selecting a fire-rated door for your garage, there are several key factors to consider:

Fire Resistance Rating: Look for doors doors that recognized testing laboratories have tested and rated. The rating, usually expressed in minutes (e.g., 20, 30, 45, 60, 90 minutes). It indicates how long the door can withstand exposure to fire. The higher the rating, the longer the door can hold back flames and smoke.

Material and Construction: Manufacturers use various materials such as steel, wood, and composite materials to create fire-rated doors, all designed to withstand high temperatures The construction of the door, including its core and frame, also contributes to its effectiveness in preventing fire spread.

Fit and Installation: The door should fit perfectly in your garage opening, with no gaps that could allow smoke or flames to pass through. We highly recommend professional installation to ensure the door functions as intended.

Insulation and Sealing: Besides resisting fire, the door should also have good insulation and sealing to prevent smoke from seeping through.

Brands Manufacturing Fire Rated Doors:

Several reputable brands specialize in manufacturing high-quality fire-rated doors. Three notable ones include:

Direct Doors FD30 Fire Internal Door, Carini: Known for their wide range of doors, Direct Doors also makes fire-rated doors. They design their doors to meet stringent safety standards and also ensure they are sturdy, well-built and looks good.

Doortek DT-IDFR3: Doortek makes its line of fire-rated doors for both commercial and residential applications. They have a complete line of fire rated steel & wood doors, frames, window frames and related hardware.

Spartan Doors: Spartan Doors Fire Rated Doors are multipurpose doors ideal for internal and external use in industrial, commercial and residential applications. They design them for safety and durability, ensuring they meet fire resistance ratings.

Garage Door with Entry Door

Also known as a garage pedestrian door or wicket, this garage door with entry door is a type of door designed especially for those instances when you need to quickly access your garage without opening the entire garage door. It often attaches to the garage door itself. It’s a way to enter the house through the garage much more conveniently.

Purpose:

The primary purpose of having an entry door within your garage door is to provide easy and quick access to your garage space without the hassle of lifting the entire garage door. You can use it for quick exits or entries when you’re not using your vehicle. If you need to grab some tools, your bike, or just check on something stored in the garage. It’s also a way to keep the garage cleaner, minimizing the loss of heated or cooled air, and keeping the house more secure and private. 

Choosing a Garage Door with Entry Door for Your Home:

Here are several key considerations to keep in mind for selecting a garage door with entry door

Security Features: Choose doors with sturdy locking mechanisms on the entry door to prevent easy compromise. Also use high-quality hardware and reinforced door frames for a stronger door.

Insulation and Sealing: Choose a door that has good insulation in both the main garage door and the entry door. You also need proper sealing around the entry door to prevent drafts and maintain a comfortable temperature in your garage.

Material and Durability: The material of the garage door and the built-in entry door should be durable and able to withstand daily use. Materials like steel, aluminum, and fiberglass are popular choices for their longevity and low maintenance.

Brands Manufacturing Garage Door with Entry Door:

Several reputable brands offer garage doors with integrated entry doors. Three notable ones include:

Hormann LPU 42 with Wicket Door inset: Hörmann has built a reputation for quality and innovation in garage doors, offering models that include integrated entry doors. They design their doors for safety and energy efficiency.

ArmRLiteTitan Overhead Sectional Door with Wicket Door: ArmRLite offers ADA compliant walkthrough garage doors. They feature unique 100% welded construction and customization.

Ryterna Automated Sectional Garage Door with Wicket Door: Have durable and energy-efficient garage doors with entry doors, focusing on quality and performance. Their doors are available in a variety of styles and finishes to complement any home.

Side Garage Door

A side garage door is a standalone door situated on the side of a garage. A separate entry point that’s distinct from the main garage door. It is especially useful for accessing the garage as a storage space, workshop, or even a living area without opening the main garage door. It closely resembles the garage door with an entry door, except it does not attach to the garage door itself.

Purpose:

A side garage door serves as a convenient and quick access point to the garage without disturbing the main garage area. Especially when the larger door’s operation is unnecessary or inconvenient. It’s ideal for when you need to access the garage frequently on foot.

Choosing a Side Garage Door:

Consider these essential factors when selecting a side entry garage door:

Security: Opt for a door with solid construction and a reliable locking system.

Insulation: If your garage is attached to your home or if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, choose an insulated door for energy efficiency and comfort inside the garage.

Material: Consider the durability, maintenance, and style of the material you’re choosing in relation to your home’s overall style. Side entry doors can be made from wood, steel, and fiberglass. 

Design Compatibility: Your side entry door should complement the design and color scheme of your main garage door and your home’s exterior for a cohesive style.

Brands Manufacturing Side Garage Doors:

Many garage door manufacturers offer side entry doors, either as part of a garage door system or as standalone products. Two reputable brands include:

Latham Security Garage Side Doors : Are known for their security and special doors. Their side entry door is made from galvanized steel and features a 19 point locking system for maximum security.

Doors Plus ClimActive: Doors Plus has durable and stylish door options that fits any garage door. The ClimActive range is well-built and designed to actively stand up to the elements.

Cat Door for Garage Door

A cat door for a garage door is specifically designed to allow your feline friends the freedom to enter and exit the garage as they please. Pet owners who wish to give their cats access to the garage for shelter, to use a litter box, or to come and go from the outdoors through a more controlled environment can benefit from this feature. Installing this in your garage door is an easy DIY.

Brands Manufacturing Cat Door for Garage Doors:

PetSafe: PetSafe is well-known for its range of pet products. They specifically create a cat door for garage doors to give your feline friends the freedom to enter and exit the garage at will.

SureFlap: SureFlap specializes in microchip cat doors that provide selective access to ensure only your cat can use the door.

Ideal Pet Products: Ideal Pet Products have a variety of pet doors that are suitable for installation in garage doors. These are easy to install and have durable designs.

Garage Door Dog Gate

A garage door dog gate is designed to create a safe and contained area in your garage for your dog to enjoy the view outdoors. Homeowners looking to give their dogs some freedom, while also ensuring they remain secure and safe within the boundaries of the garage area, will greatly benefit from this addition.

Buddy Gate Outdoor Garage Gate

Brands Manufacturing Garage Door Dog Gates:

Buddy Gate Outdoor Garage Gate: Known for their variety sizes of pet gates. The outdoor garage gate is easily setup outside the garage door and folds easily for storage, too.

Pawland 6 Panel Dog Gate: A freestanding gate that doesn’t need wall attachments. It has a lockable door for humans to pass through.

North States Pet: North States Pet provides a selection of pet gates and enclosures. There are options that can serve as dog gates for garages. They are easily  installed and sturdy to keep pets safe.

Conclusion

In summary, we learned about the top 5 garage doors for safety and accessibility. From the fire-rated doors that will prevent the spread of fires in case of incidence, to those garage pedestrian doors for quick in-and-outs, and even the handy side garage doors for an easy side step into your space. And let’s not forget about our four-legged friends – those cat and dog doors really make life easier for pet owners. Each choice brings something special to the table. Either for safety, convenience, or just making our homes a bit more pet-friendly. It’s all about finding that perfect fit that makes life more convenient and keeps everyone safe.

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Bobby Cray

My initial goal is to cover everything there is to know about garages. It was through experiences with my Dad that I developed a deep appreciation for garages and their potential. Whether you're looking for tips on optimizing space, tackling DIY projects, or transforming your garage into a functional and remarkable space, I've got you covered. If I learned anything from my him, is that we can all be Garage Masterminds. And have a blast along the way.


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