UPDATE:  I wanted to preserve this original post but the recommended specification section on fire and egress door assembly inspections has been updated and is available HERE.


As states continue to adopt building and fire safety codes which reference the 2007 or 2010 editions of NFPA 80, the requirement for annual fire door assembly inspections becomes applicable to buildings which must comply with the newly-adopted code.  In many states, new buildings and renovations built under that code will be the first to require annual inspections.

Last year, I discussed adding the requirement to specifications with a group of about 100 architects who were attending a class I was teaching.  The general consensus was that an inspection within the first year was a great benefit for the building owner, as any deficiencies would be repaired under warranty.  There was no consensus, however, as to where the inspection requirement should be placed within the specification, and what the language should be.

I called upon the most knowledgeable specification writer that I know, Mark Kalin of Kalin Associates, to get an expert opinion on the matter.  Mark was kind enough to send me the following paragraphs to insert into the Door Hardware section of the spec:

Fire Door Assembly Inspections: Include the following language in the door hardware specifications for projects designed to comply with IBC 2009, or jurisdictions which require compliance with NFPA 80 – 2007:

Section 087100 – Door Hardware, Part 1 – General, insert in Paragraph: Submittals:

Fire Door Assembly Inspection and Testing: Submit a written report of the results of functional testing and inspection for fire doors, in compliance with NFPA 80-2007 requirements.

Section 087100 – Door Hardware, Part 3 – Execution, insert in Paragraph: Field Inspections:

Fire Door Assembly Inspection and Testing: Provide functional testing and inspection of fire doors in accordance with NFPA 80-2007. Inspections shall be performed by individuals certified by Intertek as a Fire Door Assembly Inspector using reporting forms provided by the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI). Alternatively, inspections may be performed by individuals acceptable to the Architect, who have knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the applicable door type, and who have experience in preparing written reports of testing and inspection results.

1. Schedule inspections to allow sufficient time to make repairs, correct defects and reinspect prior to Substantial Completion of the Project.

2. Reinspect doors after repairs are made until satisfactory results are obtained.

3. Submit a signed, written final report as specified in Paragraph: Submittals.

I’d love to know whether you’re seeing the inspection requirement in specifications in your area, or whether you have feedback on the language above.  Click here and scroll down if you’d like to leave a comment.

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