Fire doors can provide critical protections in the event of a fire by limiting the spread of fire, smoke and heat between compartments of a building or structure. Fire doors are rated based on the ability to withstand combustion for a pre-determined amount of time. The term “fire door” also includes the door frame and closing mechanisms.
Fire doors can only be effective however if the doors are properly rated for the application and installed and maintained. It is the maintenance of fire doors that is often found lacking.
Fire door design, construction, installation and maintenance is governed by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80. NFPA 80 requires fire doors and assemblies be inspected and tested not less than annually and that a written record of the inspection by signed and kept on file for review.
Annual inspection and testing must be performed by a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or skill, and who, by knowledge, training, and experience, has demonstrated the ability to deal with the subject matter, the work, or the project. Because of the qualifications required most clients prefer to contract this service out to a professional door company.
NFPA 80 lists several items to be verified during the annual service depending on the type of door, including hold-open devices, fusible link closure devices and door clearances. Whoever does the inspection and testing should be familiar with these items. In addition to these items, the following shall also be addressed:
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VP, Loss Control Team Leader