Cat Flaps On A Fire Door? (Possible? Still Safe?)
If you have a fire door that looks like a convenient exit for your cat using a cat flap you may be wondering if this a good idea, or if it is even safe to put one there.
Can you put cat flaps on a fire door?
You cannot install a cat flap on a fire door and still regard it as fire rated. The flap will make it vulnerable and a hazard. Often you will find these doors separating the garage and your home.
So, now you know that it is not a good idea. But, what happens if you add a cat flap there? Do these flaps weaken doors? Is it possible to get a door that comes with a pet door that is fire rated? Keep reading for these answers, and more…
What happens if you put cat flaps on a fire door?
The problem with putting cat flaps on a fire door is it will no longer be a viable defense for a fire. The smoke from a fire could penetrate through the flap and the flap itself could melt under the intense heat.
This is why it is not advisable to install this on one of these doors. It may seem like a good idea, or even convenient, but it is not safe to do so.
What is Fire Rated?
Fire-rated relates to a rating of how safe a barrier is when up against the fire resistance test, according to Wikipedia, this is usually measured in terms of the time it takes to penetrate, or other specific criteria.
If you have heard of this term before you may have wondered what it meant. So, now you know what it means, and may help you understand fire doors more.
What is a Fire door?
To clarify that we are on the same page let me explain the definition of a Fire door is, according to Wikipedia, it is a door that has a Fire-resistance rating, or “Fire-rated”. It made to slow down the spread of fire in houses, etc.
You will usually find that fire doors are solid and heavier than normal doors you may find in your home. This is because they need to be able to resist fires. This doesn’t mean they will completely resist the fire, but it is designed to buy you some time to escape the building.
Can you get Fire-rated pet doors?
You can purchase purpose made fire-rated doors. The difference with these is it is designed specifically for this. It is not possible to alter an existing fire door with a cat flap, but purchasing a purpose made one is an option.
If you really want a way for your cat to let itself out at its own leisure, and you feel that the existing fire door location is best for you. Then, maybe replacing it with one of these is an option. However, it is worth double-checking it for compliance with the appropriate authorities before replacing your current door.
Are cat flaps a good idea?
Cat flaps are a good idea but there are pros and cons with them. They offer a convenient way for your cat to let itself in and out at its own leisure. Which in turn, provides you with more freedom. But, if they are not secured any cat, or small animal can let itself into your home.
This is why some cat owners use microchipped cat flaps (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) to prevent other cats from letting themselves into your home.
How do I stop unwanted cats coming through my cat flap?
As discussed earlier cat flaps are good, but they can be infiltrated by other cats. However, there are ways around it. I mentioned one above, but there are others:
01. Collar activated
Collar activated flaps work on a different system to the microchip versions. Your cat will have a tag on their collar that will open the cat flap. This will eliminate the chance of another cat letting itself into your home.
02. Microchip activated
As discussed earlier microchipped cat flaps rely on your cat being chipped. And, because this chip ID is unique to them only they can open the cat flap. Some prefer it because they do not have to rely on their cat wearing the collar with the tag.
Do cat flaps weaken doors?
Cat flaps are known to weaken doors. But, apart from that, it can also make your door more vulnerable. For example, it makes life easier for someone to get into your home. However, many cat owners still use them successfully.
It makes sense to wonder if a cat flap will weaken your door. And, now you know it can. But, it does not mean that they are not still worth having. And, if you focus on a quality offering it will help.
What is a fireproof cat flap protector?
These protectors fit around an existing cat flap and are designed to make it fireproof. The way they work is when they come in contact with the heat from a fire is designed to seal it safely.
In all honesty, I am not sure if they work well or would still make your fire door fire-rated. Logically, when you tamper with your fire door it immediately interferes with its fire-rating. So, I am struggling to see how this addition would regain that.
Why do some other cats try to use your cat flap?
Cats will try to use your cat flap for several reasons. The main one is greed. They are natural scavengers and typically eat small amounts regularly. If they are restricted to 2 or 3 meals by their owner rather than free feeding they are likely to feel hungry between meals.
This means if they see an opening in your front door they are likely to want to pop in and see what food they can pick up. This is made even worse if they can smell the food from outside and see it’s easy to get in.
What could happen if another cat comes into your home through the flap?
If another cat lets itself in it could try to claim your home as its own territory. This could result in it spraying your home. Also, studies have found that cats that have a cat flap that can be entered without a stag or chip are much likelier to be sprayed by their own cat.
This is because it can get nervous and want to claim its property to find off the infiltrators.
Could a toddler fit through a Pet door?
There is a chance that a toddler could fit through a pet door. But, these are more likely to be pet doors designed for a dog rather than a cat. However, anything is possible. The best thing to do is to evaluate the risk with your family’s needs.
To mitigate this risk you can also look for a smaller pet door or locate it in a place that your toddler is not likely to venture to. The latter could be harder than you think, but the former is possible.
Obviously, if you have large kids this is not a concern. Another concern with these pet doors is burglars. They can use these holes to get into homes if they have the right skills.