Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Email:, Blog: or

Jan 15 2016

FF: Tea Time

Category: Egress,Fire Doors,Fixed-it FridayLori @ 10:22 am Comments (3)

Memory Care Mural

I think if I passed this Fixed-it Friday door while visiting this memory care unit my mind would have gone right to the NFPA 101 section that addresses exits disguised by murals in health care units.  Maybe I wouldn’t have focused on the actual artwork, but as Gail Erickson of Allegion pointed out when she sent the photo (“I wonder how many times the alarm goes off when they go to get a cup of tea?”), what is depicted in the mural could affect how well the disguise works.  If the artist had included cookies or cake, the incidence of false alarms might be even more frequent.

I have received several questions lately about this type of application – keep in mind that this section was added in the 2015 edition of NFPA 101, and technically only applies to facilities in jurisdictions where this code has been adopted.  Also – when using a printed adhesive film on a fire door (instead of paint), the film should be listed for use on a fire door assembly unless the door manufacturer tells you otherwise.


If you see a good Wordless Wednesday or Fixed-it Friday application, or any other interesting or beautiful doors, send me a photo!  You can upload photos by clicking Submit Photos on the Tools menu above, or you can email me directly.

3 Responses to “FF: Tea Time”

  1. Joel Niemi says:

    well, at least it doesn’t blend in with the adjacent wall finishes …

  2. Scott Straton says:

    I am wondering who you approach and what you say to them when you notice a code violation like a chained exit door.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Scott –

      There have been times when the violation was dangerous enough that I went straight to the fire marshal (like this one: Most fire marshals include an email address on their website or even a form to notify them of problems. In just about every case I have received a response and a promise that they would follow through.

      In other cases I have emailed the manager of the hotel, store, or business where I saw the problem. If it’s a hospital, school, college, or university, I email the facilities department or the school principal. You can of course talk to someone in person, but I feel like if I send an email I have a record of the correspondence and I can include links to the relevant information. It’s also more likely that I’ll reach the right person…the store cashier does not typically care that they have a blocked fire exit as much as the manager would/should.

      I have thought about creating an app, form letter, or some other way to help with this, but since I’m only one person I don’t have a lot of time to do the administration. If there’s anything you think would be helpful, that I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time overseeing, let me know.

      BTW…the painted door in the Tea Time photo is allowed by NFPA 101, and given the location (memory care unit), I probably wouldn’t pursue it. My point here was that painting a tea service on the door could result in a resident accidentally pushing on the hardware and setting off the alarm.

      – Lori

Leave a Reply