Someone asked me about this the other day, and I’m wondering if any of you have a better answer than, “No, because I said so.”  The question is this:

On a fire door assembly, is it acceptable to drill/cut a hole in the frame for the latchbolt, and not install the strike?

This isn’t specifically addressed in the model codes or referenced standards…I guess it’s just assumed that the hardware has to be installed with all of its components – including the strike.  I asked one of our compliance engineers, who happened to be headed to one of the test labs for a fire test.  He said that the test standards always reference a strike when evaluating pass/fail and locations of the latchbolt engagement.

In order for a hole with no strike to be allowed on a fire door assembly, it would have to be covered by the listings of the fire door and frame, and the application would need to be tested to ensure the proper performance without the strike.  I don’t know of any manufacturers that have tested products without the strike, so in my opinion (and our compliance engineer’s, and unofficially – the engineers’ at the test lab) it is not acceptable to have a fire door assembly with just a hole for the latch and no strike.

Anyone know different?  Or have evidence to show more definitively why this isn’t allowed?


Photo by Hal Kelton of DoorData Solutions

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