Consumer Tips On Fire Rated Doors & Hardware

1. Painted or missing fire door labels

The label found on the edge or top of a fire door and in the rabbet of a fire-rated frame may be made of metal, paper, or plastic, or may be stamped or die cast into the door or frame. Labels must be visible and legible. Some embossed labels can still be read if they are painted, but if a painted label is illegible, the paint must be removed. If labels are missing or can’t be made legible, the Authority Having Jurisdiction may require the doors or frames to be re-labeled by a listing agency. A fire rated door inspector or factory.

2. Broken, defective or missing hardware items (latch bolts and/or strike plates, closer, closer arms, cover plates, etc.)

Hardware may not perform as designed and tested if it is missing parts or if the hardware has become damaged.  Bent closer arms may not close the door properly.  Missing cover plates may create a passage for smoke, and a missing strike or latch bolt could mean that the door does not stay positively latched when exposed to the pressures of a fire.  When defective hardware is noted, it must be repaired or replaced immediately.

The new requirements for the annual inspection of fire and egress doors have drawn attention to the condition of existing doors, and the potential failure of these doors to perform in a fire or emergency.  If the inspection requirements are not being enforced in your area, fire and egress doors are still required to be properly maintained, so now is the time to make a plan for inspecting the doors in your facility and repairing or replacing deficient components.  Written documentation of fire door inspections must be kept for review by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.  Inspections may be conducted by an individual who is knowledgeable about the type of doors being inspected, and there are several fire door inspection training programs available