Fusible-Link-ArmWhen I was teaching my online Decoded class for DHI last week, I discussed fusible link closer arms which were one of the original hold-open devices.  NFPA 80 does not prohibit their use but the International Building Code (IBC) requires automatic-closing doors in certain locations to be smoke-activated…automatic-closing by the actuation of smoke detectors or by loss of power to the smoke detector or hold-open device.  This would rule out fusible link arms for these locations, because fusible links are activated by heat, not smoke.

Someone in the class asked where it would be acceptable to use a fusible link arm.  I wrote an article about hold-opens a while ago, but I’ve posted a more detailed list of locations requiring smoke-activation below.

My question for you is…what fire door locations can you think of that are not on this list, where the door would not be required to be smoke-activated and could have a fusible link arm?

According to the 2015 edition of the IBC, automatic-closing doors in these locations must be smoke-activated:

  • Cross-corridor doors.
  • Exit enclosure stairway/ramp doors.
  • Fire door assemblies protecting openings in exits or corridors.
  • Doors in walls required to be capable of resisting the passage of smoke for incidental use areas (listed in Table 509 of the 2015 IBC – includes rooms like furnace and boiler rooms, some large storage rooms, laundry rooms, maintenance shops, and others).
  • Smoke barrier doors in Group I-2 and Ambulatory Care facilities.
  • Doors in a fire partition.
  • Doors in a fire wall.
  • Doors in a shaft enclosure.
  • Doors in waste and linen chutes and access/discharge rooms.
  • Doors in compartmentation walls of underground buildings.
  • Doors in elevator lobby walls of underground buildings.
  • Doors in smoke partitions where specified in the IBC (elevator lobby smoke partition doors).


So…where can a fusible link arm be used?

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