Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Apr 14 2016

WWYD? Old Fire Doors

Category: Doors & Frames,Fire DoorsLori @ 3:41 pm Comments (7)

I know this door needs to be replaced. I’m just using this photo as an example of the white core material. Photo Credit: Denise Gorski

There are millions of existing fire doors, and some are decades-old.  When an old fire door needs to be modified, what precautions are taken to ensure that the door does not contain hazardous material?  I know that some fire door cores were made of asbestos, but I don’t know if that was common for ALL fire doors made within that time period, or only certain types.

For example, if the door was manufactured in the 60’s and has a white core, how can you tell whether it’s a mineral core, or asbestos, or something else?  Should the installer go ahead and modify the door, or should it be replaced?

WWYD?  And who’s the industry expert on old fire doors?




7 Responses to “WWYD? Old Fire Doors”

  1. John Rein, AHC says:

    I always recommend that any wood door from the 60’s and 70’s be removed and replaced due to asbestos. Even the older glazing material often contains asbestos. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Tom Breese says:

    Old doors with mysterious white cores, especially with fibers — really scary stuff in CA. Short of a “Monsters, Inc.: 2319” response [], seems like sending a biopsy to the lab needs to happen. If the core is ‘hot’, I think there are acceptable ways to effectively encapsulate the door and continue to use it (duly noted in the fire door schedule), but absolutely no machining; otherwise, replace the door & hardware. Very interested in reading other responses.

  3. Andy says:

    When should the door be replaced?

  4. George Haven says:

    If we are suspicious about any white fibrous materials, whether it’s found in a door, safe, or pipe insulation, we immediately have it tested for asbestos. If the building you are working on has several of these type of doors, I would get with the owner and have it and other areas investigated further.

  5. Glen Buckner, AIA says:

    I went straight to the EPA for this link, there is so much written about asbestos on the web, the EPA set the regulations

  6. Scott Foley says:

    Truth is more often then not, precautions are not being taken. However this brings up a very good subject that should be considered more by our industry and at least brought into the light . I myself know of at least a couple people that past away from lung cancer. It was believed caused from cutting mineral core doors in a work space that hadn’t had a vacuum system in place for years.From experience I know Breathing in the dust is impossible to avoid totally when cutting or modifying these doors but can be lessened by having a vacuum going near while working,wearing a good mask, having a work partner hold the vacuum hose close or even having a large fan just blow the dust out the door or away.Door replacement should be advised .

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