It amazes me every time I’m reminded of how small the world is (remember this?).  Usually these encounters take the shape of connecting with someone I went to hardware school with in Savannah back in the late 80’s, or having students in my code class that I worked with 20 years ago.  But I feel the same sense of “Wow! What a small world!” when two people send me a photo of the same door.  😀

Eric Maguire sent me some photos last week of 3-hour fire doors he saw at an art museum in Chicago.  I immediately recognized them as doors that I wrote about back in 2009, when an architect sent me a photo so I could replicate the doors and hardware for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, which I was specifying at the time (here’s that photo!).

In my initial post about the doors, my point was that swing-clear hinges had been used, when pocket pivots would have been a better application.  Although swing-clear hinges swing the door out of the opening like pocket pivots do, they also leave a +/- 2-inch gap between the frame face and the door edge, where pocket pivots leave almost no gap at all (here’s a post about pocket pivots, and the coordination of pocket depth).

This time, I would like to use these photos to point out (along with Eric), that wood wedges have been added to these fire door assemblies.  These are 3-hour fire doors which divide the modern wing of the museum from the older wings.  This is an award-winning museum which houses more than 300,000 works of art in its priceless collection.  The chance of a fire may seem unlikely, but if a fire occurs, the wedged-open fire doors will not protect the rest of the museum.  Smoke and flames will be allowed to spread freely through the open doors.  I can’t help but wonder what their insurance company would say, or why all insurance companies are not requiring annual fire door inspections.

If you know of an insurance company that DOES require annual inspections of fire door assemblies, I’d love to hear about it!

ARTIC Corridor


ARTIC Hinge  ARTIC Label


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