Many facilities now tag their fire door assemblies with a unique number to help facilitate their annual fire door inspections.  These questions came up recently:

Does NFPA 80 allow small signs on fire door frames?  Are there limitations on the size, material, and method of attachment? 

NFPA 80 addresses signage installed on fire DOORS – those requirements are covered in this Decoded article.  But what about signs on FRAMES?  Clearly they are not as common, but I have seen plenty of opening-number signs on the faces of frames.  Since NFPA 80 refers specifically to signs installed on the face of the door, I asked for an opinion from NFPA staff.

We agree that it’s not currently stated in NFPA 80, and it probably should be – hopefully it will be added to a future edition.  In the meantime, most AHJs would likely allow small signs to be attached to fire door frames, but may enforce similar restrictions to those that are applicable to fire doors:

  • The area of the sign must not be greater than 5% of the area of the frame.
  • The sign must be attached with adhesive, not with mechanical fasteners like screws or rivets.
  • Signage must not obstruct the proper operation of the door.
  • NFPA 80 doesn’t address the material to be used for signs – the intent is that the sign does not compromise the integrity of the assembly and does not contribute to fire development or become an obstruction.  A small sign attached with adhesive is unlikely to have any impact on the performance of the assembly.

If the AHJ will not allow the opening-number tags, the other option would be to install them on the face of the door instead of the face of the frame, in compliance with the requirements of NFPA 80.

What is your experience with this?

Thank you to Deputy Jeff Tock of Allegion for the photo!

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