Fire doors.  I first learned about them more than 30 years ago, but at first I didn’t really understand their purpose.  When I was a detailer, the requirements for fire door assemblies were lines of text in a book that I had to follow.  When I attended my first DHI class there was a quiz at the beginning, and it asked for a description of NFPA 80 and NFPA 101.  My answer was “I think NFPA 80 is the red book and NFPA 101 is the green book.”  I’ve come a long way (and so have you!).  🙂

For the last 25+ years, I have been looking for new ways to teach people about fire door assemblies, doors in a means of egress, and the requirements for accessibility.  It’s not an easy job.  Not many people have a natural curiosity about doors and hardware…it’s not something most people seek to learn more about.  When a good teaching tool comes along, I get really excited – especially when the resource is shared in the mainstream media, so it’s readily available to people outside of the door and hardware industry.

The New York Times has published an absolutely fantastic reconstruction of what occurred during the fire in the Twin Parks North West apartment building in the Bronx, which killed 17 people.  The interactive tool clearly shows how the smoke spread through open fire doors and why fire door assemblies must be code-compliant in order to perform as designed and tested.

Here is an article about the project, and you can move virtually through the reconstruction here.  Please take the time to check it out, and share it widely.

Screenshot: The New York Times

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