Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Dec 06 2018

QQ: Job-Site Preps for Fire Doors

Category: FDAI,Fire Doors,Quick QuestionLori @ 1:12 am Comments (7)
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In Tuesday’s post I wrote about a change to NFPA 80, which allows field-drilled holes larger than 1-inch diameter in fire doors where allowed by the manufacturers’ listings.  This raised a few questions which I will cover in subsequent posts.  The first question:

For which types of hardware does NFPA 80 allow job-site preparations to be made in fire door assemblies?

NFPA 80 specifically allows the following preparations to be made on the job site:

  • Holes for surface-applied hardware
  • Function holes for mortise locks
  • Holes for labeled viewers
  • A maximum 3/4-inch undercutting of wood and composite doors (verify this with the door manufacturer before modifying the door)
  • Installation of protection plates

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, holes drilled as job-site preparations were previously limited to 1-inch diameter with the exception of holes for cylinders.  The 2016 edition allows holes larger than 1-inch diameter to be drilled at the job-site for surface-applied hardware, where permitted by the door manufacturer’s listing and the hardware manufacturer’s listing.

The added paragraph specifically mentions surface-applied hardware, so which types of hardware would qualify?  NFPA 80 states:

4.1.3.2.1 Surface-applied hardware shall be applied to the door or frame without removing material other than drilling round holes to accommodate cylinders, spindles, similar operational elements, electrified hardware, and through-bolts in doors.

Rim or surface-vertical-rod panic hardware (fire exit hardware) would be considered surface-applied hardware, as would retrofit electrified lever trim for fire exit hardware – as long as the required job-site preparations only involve round holes.  Most door closers, automatic operators, direct-hold electromagnetic locks, gasketing, and coordinators are surface-applied, but keep in mind that all products have to be listed for use on a fire door assembly.  And remember, function holes for mortise locks and holes for labeled viewers are also allowed by this section of NFPA 80.

In my opinion, hardware that requires a prep other than a round hole would not be allowed as a job-site preparation.  Some examples:  a mortise lock pocket, cylindrical lock prep, concealed closer or concealed overhead stop, mortise for butt hinge, shear lock, electric strike that requires a prep beyond a round hole…but keep in mind that some of these preps MIGHT be allowed as a field modification, which is different from a job-site preparation.

More to come on field modifications, raceways, and covering old holes with new hardware.  If you have other questions, leave them in the reply box!

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7 Responses to “QQ: Job-Site Preps for Fire Doors”

  1. lseliber@keyingsolutions.com says:

    I believe there are two reasons why NFPA 80 requires complex modifications to be performed at the factory: Record keeping, and the quality of the work. I would rather see these requirements spelled out in detail instead of making an assumption that work done in a factory is work done correctly. You only have to see a few overseas door factories to understand why.

  2. DAVID FEDERICO says:

    If locksmiths could be instructed as to the correct way to modify Fire doors by the manufacturer or by an agency official or even by courses offered by ALOA or other training academy. Why can we not be certified to do this in the field . Makes more sense than removing the door to send it back to the mfg.Waiting two or three weeks or replacing a door at the customer expense .?

    • Lori says:

      Hi David –

      A locksmith (or anyone qualified) can do the preps allowed by NFPA 80 as job-site preparations. You can also do field modifications that are pre-approved by the listing lab via the door/frame manufacturer. The pre-approval process takes time and I don’t know that there is a standardized protocol for requesting it, but that would allow you to make modifications in the field beyond the job-site preparations allowed by 80.

      – Lori

  3. DAVID FEDERICO says:

    Thanks Lori . I will check into that as more and more facilities are converting existing KIK- KIl ANSI 161 door preps to panic devices

    • Lori says:

      Just make sure that if it’s a fire door, the label allows fire exit hardware. Some manufacturers are using labels that address both locksets/latchsets and fire exit hardware, but if the label does not mention fire exit hardware, technically you can’t switch the hardware.

      – Lori

  4. Dan says:

    Even if the door has a label for both locksets/latchsets and fire exit hardware and the door is crossed over from a cylindrical lock to panic hardware, doesn’t the existing cylindrical lock prep still need to be filled in accordance with the door manufacturer’s requirements??

    Thank you.

    • Lori says:

      Good point. I know I’ve seen a template for panic hardware on a door with a 161 prep. I wonder if we have one for fire exit hardware with a 161 prep.

      – Lori

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