I know I’m supposed to be talking about smoke doors but each of those posts takes quite a bit of research time. I’m headed out of town tomorrow for a meeting about fire door inspection, so I’ll get back to the smoke doors later in the week.
I played hooky this morning and went on the kindergarten field trip to the zoo. The highlight for my son was when a goat in the petting zoo ate our map. The highlight for me was when I noticed the dutch door to the giraffe barn. The giraffe in the photo is only about a year old – its parents require almost the full height of the opening.
When I was a kid, I always wanted a dutch door. I still don’t have one, but maybe I’ll get one when I replace my front door. And just so this post isn’t only about my trip to the zoo and my dreams of a dutch door, I’ll answer a question that comes up every so often…you CAN get a fire-rated dutch door.
Steelcraft can manufacture dutch doors that are up to 3-hour labeled, a maximum of 4′ wide x 7′-2″ high, in 18- or 16-guage, honeycomb or polystyrene core. A closer is mounted on the top leaf, with an astragal between the top and bottom leaves so closing the top leaf closes the bottom leaf as well. A lockset or latchset is required on the bottom leaf latching into the jamb, and also on the top leaf latching into the bottom leaf or the jamb (some manufacturers require both locksets to latch into the jamb which may create an egress problem because 2 motions are required to unlatch the door). It’s common to have a magnetic holder on the top leaf so that it can be left open but will close upon fire alarm.
You can find more information about the fire-rated dutch door application in the “Doors” section of the Steelcraft website.
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Have done one facility that had rated dutch doors, and they have been a nightmare as far as maintenance is concerned – getting them to close together, people pushing the doors too far past what the closers can handle.
Hi Charles –
The astragal that is mounted to the top leaf and overlaps the bottom leaf ensures that both leaves close together, so I’m not sure what the set-up was on the doors that you mentioned. Pushing the doors too far open can happen on any type of door, so we always specify a door stop – either wall- or floor-mounted, integral to the closer, or a separate overhead stop. If the top leaf is on a magnetic holder, the magnetic holder will limit the door opening and a separate stop isn’t needed for the top.
The door closures keep getting messed up,
the other problem is that there is a large open space behind the doors, so a door stop cannot be installed. Mainly it is the top leaf that is the problem