A few weeks ago, I answered a Quick Question about what to do when a continuous hinge covers the labels on a fire rated door and frame.  My advice was to document the presence of the labels before installing the continuous hinge, but some installers have been advised to notch the hinge around the label.  While this may seem like it wouldn’t affect the performance of the hinge, it’s a slippery slope.

Today’s Quick Question:  If a UL Listed product is modified in the field, does this void the listing?

For the answer, I visited the Code Authority FAQs page, on Underwriters Laboratories (UL) website.  From UL:

An authorized use of the UL Mark is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product was manufactured in accordance with all applicable requirements, and was in compliance with those requirements when it was shipped from the factory. If that product is modified after it leaves the factory, only a UL Field Evaluation can determine if the modified product  complies with UL’s requirements.  It is the responsibility of the Authority Having Jurisdiction to assess the acceptability of the modifications or to determine if the modifications are significant enough to require a UL staff member to evaluate the modified product. UL can assist the AHJ in making this determination. For information on UL field evaluations click here.

Although there are a few modifications that have been approved for some manufacturers’ continuous hinges (for example, a cutout for an electric power transfer (EPT)), these preps are typically required to be made during the manufacturing process – not in the field.  Notching a continuous hinge in the field could result in the need for a UL field evaluation, and the associated costs.  Before altering any fire rated component in the field, I would highly recommend checking with the manufacturer to verify that their listings specifically allow the field modification.

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