A temperature rise door is a fire-rated door which limits the heat transfer through the door for a period of 30 minutes.  Temperature rise ratings indicate the maximum rise above ambient temperature on the non-fire side of the door, and will be either 250°, 450°, or 650° F.  The 250° door is the most restrictive because it limits the heat transfer to only 250° for a 30-minute period.  A typical hollow metal door would reach approximately 1400° F in the same time period.  By minimizing the transfer of heat, a temperature rise door could protect an exit enclosure, allowing people to pass below the floor of fire origin.

In the 6th edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code, all doors in exit enclosures were required to be 450° temperature rise doors.  This caught a lot of people by surprise, at least the first time.  The 6th edition was based on the 1993 edition of BOCA, and later versions of BOCA had an exception for sprinklered buildings.  I submitted a code change proposal several years ago and the BBRS thought it was valid, but at the time they didn’t want to adopt some parts of the newer code without adopting the rest.  I’m not here to debate the subject of fire doors vs. sprinklers but I like consistency, so when the 7th edition arrived I was happy to see that Massachusetts had finally caught up with the rest of the country.

Here’s the text from the IBC 2003 and 780 CMR – 7th Edition:

715.3.4 Doors in Vertical Exit Enclosures and Exit Passageways. Fire door assemblies in vertical exit enclosures and exit passageways shall have a maximum transmitted temperature end point of not more than 450°F (232°C) above ambient at the end of 30 minutes of standard fire test exposure.
Exception. The maximum transmitted temperature end point is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or
903.3.1.2.

And the IBC 2006 (slight change in wording):

715.4.4 Doors in exit enclosures and exit passageways.  Fire door assemblies in exit enclosures and exit passageways shall have a maximum transmitted temperature end point of not more than 450°F (250° C) above ambient at the end of 30 minutes of standard fire test exposure.
Exception: The maximum transmitted temperature rise is not limited in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

And the IBC 2009 and 780 CMR – 8th edition (wording changed back):

715.4.4 Doors in exit enclosures and exit passageways.  Fire door assemblies in exit enclosures and exit passageways shall have a maximum transmitted temperature end point of not more than 450ºF (250ºC) above ambient at the end of 30 minutes of standard fire test exposure.
Exception: The maximum transmitted temperature rise is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

For old times sake, here’s the text from 780 CMR – 6th Edition and BOCA 1993 (no exception for sprinklered buildings):

716.1.2 Doors in exit enclosures: All doorway opening protectives for exit enclosures shall be labeled means of egress fire doors and shall have a maximum transmitted temperature end point of not more than 450°F (232°C) above ambient at the end of 30 minutes of standard fire test exposure.

This is the information included on the label for a temperature rise door:

temp-rise-label

For more information, check out the following links:

Steelcraft T Series Temperature Rise Doors

It’s What’s Inside That Counts – Getting to the Core of Hollow Metal Doors

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