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Jun 16 2017

FF: Count the Fire Door Problems

Category: FDAI,Fire Doors,Fixed-it FridayLori @ 12:23 am Comments (12)

Many “fixes” that I’ve seen on fire door assemblies are not compliant with NFPA 80 – Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. As fire door inspections increase, these problems will be noted, and must be repaired without delay.

Paul Goldense of Goldense Building Products came across this fire door assembly in a public school.  Even if this jurisdiction is not yet enforcing annual fire door assembly inspections for schools, the school is required to keep their fire doors code-compliant and to repair them in a manner that is acceptable to NFPA 80.

If you’re responsible for the care and maintenance, installation, or repair of fire doors, make sure you are familiar with the requirements of NFPA 80.  This Decoded article on Alterations to Fire Door Assemblies might be helpful for anyone performing job-site preparations and/or field modifications.

So…what problems do you see on this fire door?

12 Responses to “FF: Count the Fire Door Problems”

  1. Leo says:

    1. Hinge Installation
    2. Lock Installation
    3. Signage
    4. Top Clearance

  2. Paul Anderson says:

    Lets start with gap issues at the top and possibly on the strike side. Unauthorized cover plate under the trim hardware (indicates a retro fit of some sort). Excessive signage. Hinges have wood shims under them and do not appear to be ball bearing. Also, why are they half surface mounted? What happened to the original butt style hinges? It also appears that there may be rust issues with the bottom of the door and or frame. This assembly would be a good candidate for replacement of at least the door and hinges. All of this appears to most likely be the result of someone propping the door open with a broom handle or wedge of some sort in the upper hinge side corner as evidenced by the dent in the corner of the door. I see this quite often in my travels.

  3. Laura Pedersen says:

    1. Flammable signage on door
    2. Hinges improperly installed
    3. Lockset installed into push plate, probably covering gaping hole in door
    4. Likely clearance issues at top of door

    Is there a closer? I don’t see any thru-bolts.

    The bottom sign is ironic — they’re going to need fire prevention, because if one happens this door won’t do much to stop its spread!

  4. Raymond Holman, AHC says:

    Those sure look like wood hinge shims. Top clearance!! If the hinges weren’t half surface, I’d swear they hung the door upside down (except for the pushplate height). Hard to tell about the jamb clearances from the photo but it’s definitely something to check. The push plate under the exit trim is a dead give-away that this door has been re-worked. That trim is too narrow to cover a 161 lock prep so I assume that’s what the pushplate is for. Assuming this door originally had a cylindrical (or mortise) lock prep, it’s not reinforced for an exit device but I don’t see through bolts on the hinge side. Love all the fliers.

  5. Joel Niemi says:

    What does it look like from the Auditorium (egress) side?

    • Lori says:

      I don’t know. I’m assuming most of the visible problems are on the pull side since Paul only sent me this photo.

      – Lori

  6. Bryan McKeehan says:

    Look at the top corner where it all started with a broom handle door holder!
    That eventually destroyed the top hinge reinforcement.
    Maintenance just rotated the standard hinges out and created half surface hinges mounted with carriage bolts.

  7. Jim says:

    Does it look like someone took apart the original full mortise hinges and reversed the door leaves?

  8. Terry Crump, FDAI says:

    In addition to the obvious problems with the hinges, I’d swear that they are ball-bearing hinges, but the bearings have been removed.

  9. Kevin Wiley says:

    If I was a betting man, I would bet that this is NOT the original door for this frame.

  10. David Federico says:

    What can I say that all of you have covered so far other than to say call the inspector and make the right call … it’s an auditorium ,a place of assembly do we need another Chicago Fire . We need to stop just looking at the problems and do something . I may not be the most liked door and hardware consultant but when I see stuff like this where the customer did not want to spend on the correct solution I call the Fire inspector and even though I won’t get the job to repair I can rest easy knowing I may have saved a life or more.

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