If this sounds familiar, it may be because I wrote about it back in 2013.  At that time, there wasn’t a clear answer to the question…

Can a delayed-action closer be installed on a fire door? 

A delayed-action closer is self-closing, but holds the door open for a minute or two when the door is opened fully.  This is a function of the valves that control the flow of fluid; it is not an electronic feature.  Installing a delayed-action closer on a fire door with the possibility that the door could stand open for a minute (+/-) before beginning to close, is not one of the things that keeps me up at night.  But because it was not specifically addressed in the model codes, interpretations were inconsistent.

A clarification was added to the 2018 International Building Code (IBC), which provides a solid answer to the question:

716.2.6.5 Delayed-action closers. Doors required to be self-closing and not required to be automatic closing shall be permitted to be equipped with delayed-action closers.

This paragraph is found in Section 716 – Opening Protectives, which means that delayed-action closers CAN be used on fire door assemblies.  Note that this added section does not include a specific limit on the amount of time that the closing cycle can be delayed.

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