Today I am Wordless in a positive way, about this photo that was sent to me by John Lozano of Allegion.  It was taken in a high school.  What do you think?

Fire door

A few weeks ago I wrote that several people mentioned in their iDigHardware survey responses that sometimes they weren’t sure why I was wordless.  I said that I would write more about that from now on, so here goes…

Most people have no idea that fire door assemblies serve an extremely important purpose.  Think about seat belts…I still remember the movie we had to watch in 5th grade about the dangers of riding in a car without a seat belt on.  There are laws that require us to wear our seat belts, and we understand why.

There are also laws that mandate fire door assemblies.  Codes are adopted by law, so code-compliant fire door assemblies are required in strategic locations in a building.  They help to protect openings in fire resistance rated walls surrounding exit stairwells, hazardous areas like electrical rooms, and dwelling units and sleeping units.  If these assemblies are not working properly, smoke and flames may spread through the opening.  But hardly anyone knows this, which is why fire doors are frequently propped open for convenience.

The fire door in the photo has been stenciled with the requirement to keep the door closed, along with a reference to the NFPA 80 standard, which makes it seem extra-official.  Now…is this feasible in every location?  No.  Are there potential pitfalls?  Yes.  The codes and standards change, so the paragraph number stenciled on the door may not be correct depending on the edition of the standard someone is looking at.  Keeping the door closed is not the only important factor (although it’s probably the most common operational deficiency).  And repairs have been made to this fire door that may affect its performance.

With all of that said, I would love to see more education and the resulting awareness among the general public about fire doors – their purpose and how to keep them doing their job.  And what better place to start than in a school??

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