As I’m working on some educational materials about fire doors for people who are not familiar with code requirements or with doors and hardware, I’m reminded once again that most people don’t know anything about how fire door assemblies are tested.  This rigorous testing ensures that the assemblies will deter the spread of smoke and flames for the amount of time they are intended to do so.

I’m going to find a way to incorporate the basics into the publication I’m working on, but I wanted to re-share this article with iDigHardware readers.  It is from a fire test that I attended almost 8 years ago (time flies!), and there was a photographer there from Fire Protection Publications.  If you follow through all of the photos and captions, you can get a good sense of how the doors are tested.

I think understanding more about this process will help people take the protection provided by their fire doors more seriously.  If these assemblies are seen as important components of the passive fire protection system, maybe more care will be taken to maintain them properly.  (I know – I’m an optimist.)

If you have any suggestions about what the general public should know about fire door assemblies, please add them in the comments so I can incorporate them into the document I’m working on.

And because it’s Fixed-it Friday and a picture is worth a thousand words, here is one of my favorite illustrations of the power of a closed door.  In this case it’s not a fire door, but a residential bathroom door that clearly shows the protection it provided during a fire:

Photo shared with permission from Juan Guerra (granted 2/2011)

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