This fire door assembly has a few issues, one of which is the obvious repair at the top rail.  I am often asked to provide “proof” that this type of repair is unacceptable.  Often the most direct route to find that evidence is to ask the door manufacturer for documentation of whether this is allowed by their listing procedures.

NFPA 80 may not specifically address these details in the standard, but in some cases the NFPA 80 Handbook will have information to help establish the intent of the standard.  For example, there are a few mentions of using plates to cover old holes…

It is important to understand that NFPA 80 requires unused holes to be filled, not merely covered. For example, installing a stainless steel push plate between lock trim and the face of a door conceals unused holes, but it does not restore the fire protection properties of the door itself.

Inspectors need to be able to recognize telltale signs that field modifications have been made to a door frame or door. Rough-edged and/or irregular-shaped cutouts, auxiliary cover plates, and unusual fasteners are some of the telltale signs that indicate field modifications have been made.

Caulking (including caulks for fire barrier penetrations) and other such putties/fillers are not an acceptable method for repairing most fire doors, and neither is placing a protection plate over the holes in doors and frames. It is important to research the construction of the door in question and seek direction as to how to correctly repair it before attempting to repair a damaged fire door.

So, if you can’t find a specific reference in NFPA 80, check the NFPA 80 Handbook, and of course you can always visit iDigHardware or contact me.  Keep in mind that the codes and standards don’t always reflect the newest changes to products and methods (for example, the reference to caulk), so I try to make that information available here and work to incorporate it into the codes and standards during the next code development cycle.

Thank you to Hal Kelton of DOORDATA Solutions for today’s Fixed-it Friday photo!

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