This is a stairwell fire door in a New York City apartment building. NYC Rule 401-06 requires a “Close the Door” notice to be posted on each stairwell fire door, and you can see that this door does have the mandated signage. It shouldn’t be mounted on the glass, but that’s not the biggest problem here.
According to the FDNY, an open stairwell door contributed to the spread of smoke during a January apartment fire in the Bronx, which killed 17 people including 8 children. Last month, the NYC mayor signed an executive order aimed to improve enforcement of fire door safety requirements. New legislation was also announced that would increase fines for non-compliant fire doors. I even received an email response from the mayor’s office last week, with a link to file a compliant about a non-compliant residential fire door, and the FDNY web page on fire and life safety.
We have the codes, the laws, the enforcement, the signage, education, and awareness, and many lessons learned from dozens of apartment fires with non-compliant fire doors…yet we still have fire doors propped open and unable to do their job if a fire occurs. According to the NFPA, there were 86,000 apartment fires in 2020 – that’s an average of 236 apartment fires per day. When and where will the next fire occur? Who knows?? That’s why fire door assemblies have to be code-compliant, ready to help prevent the spread of smoke and flames when the time comes.
You can read more on this topic here: Decoded: The importance of fire doors in residential occupancies.