Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Apr 10 2017

Cross-Corridor Pair Follow-Up

Category: FDAI,Fire DoorsLori @ 11:35 am Comments (7)

Last year, an expert on corporate blogging and content marketing reviewed iDigHardware, and was very surprised at the amount of engagement shown by the number of comments on many of the posts.  I am so appreciative of the shared insight and collaboration!  So far, there are 20 comments on the Fixed-it Friday post from last week, so I think a follow-up is in order.

Here’s the photo, to refresh your memory:

A few things…

  1. The vision lights are installed very high on the door, and I think one of the commenters may be correct in saying that the bottom of each light is above the 66-inch mark.  We talked about this on a post a while back.  To re-cap, vision lights are required by the accessibility standards to be located with the bottom no more than 43 inches above the floor.  The exception is when you have a light that is mounted above 66 inches AFF – those lights are considered to be for light transmission and not for viewing, so they are not required to be in a location where a person using a wheelchair can see through them.  Normally, this exception applies to doors like the residential entrance doors with glass across the top.  Looking at the lights in the pair above, these lights do seem like they were intentionally mounted this high, but they don’t appear to be for light transmission.  I don’t really think this meets the intent of the accessibility standards.
  2. The doors are swinging opposite the direction of egress, but it’s impossible to know from the photo if this is a problem or not.  Doors are typically required to swing in the direction of egress when they’re serving an occupant load of 50 or more, or a high hazard occupancy.  The occupant load on the pull side of the door may be low, or there may be additional exits that can be reached by going through the doors from the push side.  It is common to see a double-egress pair in a cross-corridor location, but the swing of the doors in the photo may be acceptable (or not).
  3. This is a fire door assembly, and the latching hardware has been removed and the holes filled with what look like wood blocks.  As several people commented, there are sprinkler heads in the corridor, and this may have negated the need for fire doors in this location.  But how would a fire door inspector know that?  In my opinion, if an opening is no longer required to be a fire door assembly, the labels should be removed or there should be some indication that they are not required to be fire doors.  Although it is not a code violation to have fire doors where they are not required, with the increased enforcement of fire door assembly inspections this will continue to cause confusion and possibly a problem for health care facilities when surveyed by the Joint Commission (you can read about that here).


Again, thank you all for sharing your insight!  That’s what makes iDigHardware such an amazing resource!

7 Responses to “Cross-Corridor Pair Follow-Up”

  1. Terry Crump, FDAI says:

    The bottom of the lite kits is NOT 66″ above finished floor. Those appear to be standard haydite block walls, which are 8″ tall. As you can see, the bottom of the lite kits align with the seam of the 7th block, so counting the mortar joints, those lite kits are about 58″ or so above finished floor.

    Also, do we know that the fire labels have definitely NOT been removed?

    • Lori says:

      I think there is an 8th block there, no? It’s cut out of the photo but the doors extend down past the 7th block.

      The person who sent me the photo said that it was a fire door assembly, so I think that means the doors still have their labels.

      – Lori

      • Andrew says:

        There most certainly is at least an 8th block. The 7th block goes to the cutout of the bottom flushbolt in the picture.

  2. R. Parker says:

    A couple of thoughts. The corridor width suggests it is very likely the occupant load is greater than 50. While the sprinkler heads could suggest the fire separation could have been abandoned, if it were an I-2 occupancy there are smoke barrier requirements to consider. It’s doubtful this door set up would meet those requirements, but, like you mentioned, without building plans how would the fire inspector know that.

  3. Kent Krauser, AHC,FDAI says:

    Assuming the fire doors are not required anymore in the location and the labels have been removed from the doors and frame. Is it then permissible (legal) to leave labeled fire exit hardware on the doors? (Again, assuming exit devices were on the doors and not a mortise lockset arrangement as shown above). How would a fire inspector know this was acceptable and the details of the change? Would some written documentation be required to be on file with the building owner signed by the AHJ?

    • Lori says:

      Hi Kent –

      That’s a good question. My gut feeling is yes – the fire exit hardware could stay (if there was fire exit hardware there), but I don’t know if this is specifically addressed anywhere. Written documentation is good, but removing the door labels would avoid questions and confusion.

      – Lori

  4. Eric says:

    I agree with Lori that there is another 8″ block that isn’t shown in the photo. I also agree with Terry that the lite kits align (almost) with the block. I think the visible glass may be slightly higher than the top of the 8th block. Regardless, that puts the glass at 64″ (maybe 65″ if we bend the tape a little in our favor). Still not at the required 66″.
    My comment on the original post was based on my initial, quick observation. Seeing the glass that high made me think it may have been high enough to comply with the exception.
    Regardless of the glass location, there are plenty of other issues that I would consider far more important to life-safety.

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