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


Feb 25 2019

QQ: Hinges for Fire Door Assemblies

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 6.4.3.1.” 

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 6.4.3.1 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 6.4.3.1 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 6.4.3.1), 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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6 Responses to “QQ: Hinges for Fire Door Assemblies”

  1. Paul Anderson says:

    Lori,

    I will be following this one closely. I asked a very similar question regarding closures. I can’t find anything in 80 that states they have to be labeled or listed. Any insight on this one while we are looking into the hinges?

    Paul

    • Lori says:

      Hi Paul –

      I just looked into this today. NFPA 80 defines a door closer as “a labeled device…” and a fire door assembly is made of listed/labeled components. Unless NFPA 80 specifically states that a component does not require a listing/label (like a kickplate within the bottom 16 inches of the door height), the intent is for the component to have a listing/label. I think closers are supposed to be labeled.

      – Lori

  2. lseliber@keyingsolutions.com says:

    Agree. The wording is unambiguous- no label or listing required.

  3. Lon says:

    Hinge manufacturer website states in reference to materials:

    “Both steel and stainless steel hinges may be used on listed
    fire rated or labeled door openings. Brass material may not
    be used on fire rated or labeled openings because of the low
    melting point.”

    I go with the “age old” Steel Ball Bearing hinges are for use on swinging doors with closers.(limited to topic of conversation here, “fire rated doors”).

  4. Tom Chin says:

    It was back in the day we had to choose for fire rated assemblies ferrous or non ferrous hinges.
    Lol

    Also can a assembly be rated with only two hinges ? Metal door/metal frame?

    This will always be topic of discussion all the time

    • Lori says:

      Hi Tom –

      According to NFPA 80, if a fire door is more than 60 inches tall it requires at least 3 hinges. Just for fun I went back to the oldest edition of NFPA 80 that I have (1968) and it was a requirement then: “Doors up to 60 inches in height shall be provided with 2 hinges and an additional hinge for each additional 30 inches of height or fraction thereof.”

      – Lori

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