Unless your local area’s building code says you do, in the cases of residential areas, you are fine to use a standard garage door. Commercial entities, such as restaurants, may benefit from (or be required to) using fire rated door.
What is a Fire-Rated Door?
A fire-resistant or fire-rated door is a door design to reduce the spread of fire or smoke between rooms to help salvage the structure of the home or business. Fire rated doors may help reduce your homeowner’s insurance premiums, depending on where you live.
The edges of a fire rated door will need to have fire rated seals. This refers to a special kind of weather stripping that will expand when exposed to heat to help prevent the passage of smoke. Using the correct seal is crucial to the fire rating performance of the door.
What about the door between my house and the garage?
Since most fire doors are meant to be closed at all times, a fire-rated door isn’t really necessary between your home and garage, unless you never plan on using it. You can have a door between your home and garage that meets you local building code, without being fire-rated.
If you have smoke detectors located throughout the home, then you will be able to save on homeowner’s insurance and be made aware of the fire so you and your family can get out. If you are truly worried about the risk of fire, consider installing a sprinkler system in the garage to automatically fight the fire while waiting for emergency assistance.