Last week I received some photos of a pair of fire doors with fire exit hardware installed “less bottom rod” (LBR). I pointed out that the auxiliary fire pin was not installed in the door edge. The person who sent the photos responded that the door manufacturer did not require the pin for their fire door listing.
If you’re not familiar with this pin (see photos below), it is installed in the edge of one leaf of a pair of fire doors when fire exit hardware is installed without the bottom rods and latches. The pin projects only when heated to approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit – otherwise it has no effect on the operation of the door. The other leaf of the pair has a hole to receive the pin, covered by a plastic cap. Because the pin projects during a fire at a temperature that would not be survivable, the doors are no longer required to allow egress at that time. The purpose of the pin is to hold the fire doors aligned to help compartmentalize the building and deter the spread of fire.
The hardware in the photos was manufactured by Von Duprin, so I checked with one of our compliance engineers to see whether it was acceptable to omit the pin if the door manufacturer’s listings did not require it. His answer: No. The fire exit hardware must be installed per the installation instructions, and the instructions for the LBR device show the auxiliary fire pin.
I am wondering what you are seeing out in the field. Are the pins being installed? Are AHJs allowing the pin to be omitted if the door manufacturer’s listings don’t require it?
Here is what the pin looks like (left) and the cap (right):