This is a great question and I have to admit, I had to do some digging to make sure I got it right…

Are steel, ball-bearing, butt hinges for fire door assemblies required to be UL listed?

I know that NFPA 80 does not require “items of a generic nature, such as hinges” to have a label on each individual item, but do hinges need to be listed?

I double-checked NFPA 80, and it states: “Hinges, spring hinges, continuous hinges, and pivots shall be as specified in individual door and hardware manufacturer’s published listings OR Table” 

NFPA 80 goes on to specify the required quantity of hinges/spring hinges, and the type of fasteners and shims that may be used.  The standard states that hinges must be ball-bearing type or may employ other bearing surfaces if they meet the requirements of ANSI BHMA A156.1 – Standard for Butts and Hinges, and includes additional information specific to pivots and continuous hinges.  NFPA 80 specifically requires spring hinges to be labeled, but does not say the same about standard butt hinges.

Table specifies the hinge size and thickness depending on the door size, thickness, and fire rating, and the hinge type.  For example, for a 1 3/4-inch thick door, with a rating of up to 3 hours and a door size up to 4 feet wide and 8 feet high, Table allows a mortised or surface-mounted steel hinge, 4 1/2 inches high, and 0.134-inch thick (standard weight).

After talking with our compliance engineers, NFPA, and UL, the consensus is that if a hinge meets the requirements of NFPA 80 (including Table, the hinge does not need to be labeled OR listed in order to be used as part of a fire door assembly.

Do you agree?

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