Today’s Quick Question came up recently with regard to the materials of components used on fire door assemblies:
Are all products installed as components of a fire door assembly required to be made of steel?
This question was based on instructions received by a fire door inspector to check each door coordinator using a magnet to confirm that the material was steel. If you’re not familiar with door coordinators, their purpose is to coordinate the closing sequence of a pair of doors – where required for the doors to close and latch properly. If the doors latch independently and there is no astragal or other item that could affect the operation of the doors, the coordinator is not needed.
There is no requirement in NFPA 80 for coordinators to be made of a specific material, the standard states only that: Where the closing of a pair of doors requires the standing door to close before the active door, a coordinating device shall be installed. However, all components installed as part of a fire door assembly must be labeled, listed, or classified, unless NFPA 80 states otherwise. These components are typically tested to UL 10C – Standard for Positive Pressure Fire Tests of Door Assemblies.
There are many hardware items fabricated from aluminum or other materials, that have been successfully tested to UL 10C and are acceptable for use as a component of a fire door assembly. This can be verified – along with any limitations of the listings – by using the Product IQ database from UL. In UL’s directory you can search for a particular product, and there is additional information on a separate page for the related product category. Here is an example of the Ives coordinator certificate of compliance.