Back in late 2007, new language contained in NFPA 80 (Standard for Fire doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2007 edition) requiring documented inspections for fire-rated door assemblies on an annual basis (Chapter 5, Care and Maintenance) was adopted and DHI officially launched the Fire Door Assembly Inspection program at the DHI Exposition and Trade Show. This included delivering our first Fire Door Assembly Inspection class (DAI 600) to over one hundred students, announcing the new DHI-Sponsored Insurance program offering errors and omissions insurance in support of our members and their companies conducting inspections, and introducing the new Intertek (through its Warnock Hersey Mark) door inspection and certification program as a tool to differentiate our industry and to set a high standard for these inspections. The Foundation for the Advancement of Life Safety and Security (now known as the Door Safety & Security Foundation) published and released two new documents entitled Swinging Fire Doors with Builders Hardware Annual Safety Inspections. One is an AHJs Guide and the other is an Owners Guide to provide a detailed understanding of this new standard. These documents will help us build awareness of and create demand for our new industry program throughout the built environment.
That was 2007. What about now? NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives (2007 edition), requires documented inspections for fire-rated door assemblies to be performed on an annual basis. Chapter 5, Care and Maintenance, addresses the care and maintenance of fire doors and fire windows, both new and existing.
Paragraph 5.2.1 states, “Fire door assemblies shall be inspected and tested not less than annually, and a written record of the inspection shall be signed and kept for inspection by the AHJ.” Swinging doors with builders hardware are the most common type of fire door assembly, and are among the most complex due to the myriad of materials and component products that are used to create them. These assemblies often provide accessibility, security, and life-safety functions in addition to their fire-safety protection, also increasing their complexity. Inspectors must thoroughly understand the dynamics of these assemblies in order to correctly evaluate them in the field.
Additionally, the 2009 edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code expands on NFPA 80’s inspection requirements for fire-rated door assemblies where the door leaves are required to swing in the direction of egress travel. NFPA 101 also requires non-fire rated door assemblies to be inspected in conjunction with the fire-rated door assemblies. Currently, NFPA 101’s requirements apply to door assemblies installed in new and existing assembly, day care, educational, and residential board and care occupancies.
California, Colorado, and Maine adopted the 2009 edition of the ICC International Building Code, which requires fire door assemblies to be installed in accordance with the 2007 edition of NFPA 80. Regardless of economics, doors assemblies will need to be inspected and maintained to code, by law. Are you and your company prepared to begin providing these potentially life-saving services in your community?