This week, several dozen of my colleagues and I are attending the spring meeting of the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), in Nashville, Tennessee.  I’ve noticed a few interesting door openings around the hotel where the meetings are being held, and these doors in particular illustrated something I hadn’t really thought about before.

Do you see what I see?

Oversized door with fire label very high

How about now?

Oversized door with fire label very high

Look where the fire door labels are on these taller-than-normal doors:

This made me wonder…I’ve heard that the label must be installed below the top hinge, but that wouldn’t make sense in this case – the labels can not be read when they are attached at this height.  NFPA 80 requires labels to be clearly visible and legible, but the standard is not specific about the label location.

The Steelcraft and Republic fire door listing procedures show that the label is installed “on the hinge stile, approximately one-third of the way down from the top, or on the top rail.”  Interesting.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to require the label to be installed a certain distance up from the bottom of the frame/floor, rather than measuring the distance down from the top?

I noticed something else about these fire doors…can you see it (besides the door wedge)?

These doors have vertical rod fire exit hardware, without the bottom rods and latches (AKA LBR).  Typically with the LBR application, an auxiliary fire pin must be installed, and it is missing on these doors.  The pin projects during a fire to keep the doors aligned and help to deter the spread of smoke and flames.  You can see what the pin looks like in this Decoded article.

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