Have you ever seen an old fire door assembly with 2 hinges instead of 3?  I’ve seen them – often on multi-family housing or old hotels, and here’s the question…

Is an existing fire door assembly with 2 hinges acceptable, or should it be noted as a deficiency during a fire door inspection?

According to NFPA 80, if a fire door is more than 60 inches tall it requires at least 3 hinges.  But how long has this requirement been around?  Are there fire doors that were installed 30, 40, or 50 years ago that allowed 2 hinges for a door over 6o inches?

I went back to the oldest edition of NFPA 80 that I have (1968) and this edition of the standard states:  “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.”

I don’t know exactly when the 3-hinge requirement came to be (>50 years ago), but I’m guessing that if a fire door assembly is really REALLY old, an AHJ may allow 2 hinges to remain.  If the assembly was installed since the 3-hinge requirement was adopted, the door/frame manufacturer should produce some documentation showing that 2 hinges are acceptable per their listings.

What’s your experience with this?  WWYD?

I’m looking for a photo of a door with 2 hinges.  Does anyone have one?  You can send it to me at lori.greene@allegion.com.

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