Continuing with this week’s posts focused on fire door assemblies in support of Fire Prevention Week, today’s post addresses Step 1 of hardware selection…”Hang the Door.”  Hinges may seem like the most basic door hardware component, but there are a lot of details to consider.

Swinging doors may be hung on architectural hinges, continuous hinges, or pivots, and NFPA 80 – Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, includes requirements pertaining to all of these products.  Other hanging methods are allowed by the standard, such as proprietary devices that are integral to the door itself; prescriptive requirements for these products are not specifically addressed by 80 and would be covered by the manufacturer’s listings.

In order for a fire door assembly to close and latch reliably, the door must swing freely.  During fire door inspections, problems with hinges, their fasteners, or hinge reinforcements in the door or frame are commonly found.  It’s crucial for fire doors to be hung properly, with products that are correctly specified for the door size, weight, and usage.

NFPA 80 requires hinges and pivots to be of steel base material, ball bearing type, and of a certain size, thickness, and quantity depending on the door width and height, thickness, and usage.  One hinge is required for each 30 inches of door height or fraction thereof.  NFPA 80 includes criteria for the use of hinges or pivots that do not meet the requirements listed in the standard, for example, hinges of a different material, size, or bearing type. Continuous hinges and spring hinges must be tested and labeled for use on a fire door assembly.

Here are some additional resources on architectural hinges, continuous hinges, and pivots:

There have been some “Quick Questions” over the years related to hinges and pivots for fire doors.  Maybe you have some insight to add, or other Quick Questions I should answer?

Hinge problems on fire doors are a common deficiency found during annual fire door assembly inspections.

We’ve even had some Wordless Wednesday photos of hinge problems:

For additional information on architectural hinges,  continuous hinges, or pivots, refer to the Ives catalog.

Check back tomorrow for more about fire doors, and follow along on Allegion US for social updates and resources:



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