By request, I have updated this article on smoke doors to include the requirements of the 2021 IBC. When you have a question about a smoke door, just decide which of the 5 types it is and refer to the section for that type.
Today's Quick Question: Is an astragal required for double-egress cross-corridor pairs in health care smoke barriers? The answer surprised me.
Answers to questions about smoke door labels, closers, latches, and gasketing AND...in a labor of love, I have updated the references in the article to include the 2018 IBC. You're welcome. :D
I receive so many questions about fire doors vs. smoke doors; my article from the June issue of Construction Specifier answers many of them.
I just saw these doors in a hotel, so it seems like a good time to write about the requirements for doors at an elevator hoistway.
NFPA recently posted the video of a webinar that answers some questions about clearances around fire door and smoke door assemblies...
Questions on smoke gasketing continue to come up, so the Steel Door Institute asked me to write about it for their quarterly newsletter. You can subscribe to their newsletter here...
Is rescue hardware allowed on a corridor door in a hospital or nursing home? Is the door able to provide an effective barrier to limit the passage of smoke without the frame stop?
If you read this paragraph in a vacuum, it seems like all fire doors have to limit the air infiltration to this level (in most cases this would require gasketing), but this paragraph falls under section 716.5.3 - Door assemblies in corridors and smoke barriers. There are two sections following 716.5.3 that apply to other types of fire doors...
I’m asked quite often if fusible link arms are still allowed to be used on fire doors. The logical place to start is NFPA 80 – Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives...
UPDATE: A new version of this article, based on the 2015 IBC, is located here.
I don't know where this week went. I feel like I blacked out for a few days. On top of my usual load, I had 3 classes to teach within a couple of weeks - Code Jeopardy for the Massachusetts Locksmith Association, Fire Door Inspection for the Yankee Security Conference, and a Code Update for the DHI Conference in NYC. I had a lot of preparation to do because I hadn't taught these exact classes before, and I tend to spend a lot of time preparing so I'm less likely to pass out from fear on the big day. Anyway...this week has been rough but I'm getting there. I'm really looking forward to heading to NYC next Wednesday!
Next Tuesday is the proposal closing date for the 2013 editions of NFPA 80 - Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, and NFPA 105 - Standard for the Installation of Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives.
According to the International Building Code (IBC), every required exit stairway that extends more than 75 feet ABOVE the lowest level of fire department vehicle access (high rise buildings), and every required exit stairway that serves floor levels more than 30 feet BELOW the level of exit discharge must comply with the referenced sections on smokeproof exit enclosures. (IBC 2009 - 403.5.4 & 405.7.2, IBC 2003 & 2006 - 403.13 & 405.8.2)
NFPA 80 - Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, is a document which most of us in the hardware industry began studying in our earliest hardware school courses and refer back to throughout our careers. This standard is THE publication on fire doors, and is referenced by all of the codes and standards used in the U.S. that have anything to say about fire doors. You'd think that because of the close relationship between fire doors and smoke doors (some fire doors ARE smoke doors, after all) that NFPA 80 would have something to say about smoke. As it turns out, not much.
I usually like to start with the quick and easy items on my to-do list, which is why it takes me forever to get to the big stuff. It's a fault, and I recognize that, but nobody's perfect. I tried to find the easy place to start this series of posts, but there seems to be only one logical place to begin - NFPA 105.
It’s official. I can’t hide from it any longer. People ask me about “smoke doors” almost every day, but if you know me you know that I have a lot going on, so whenever I try to scale the mountain of information about this topic I get sidetracked by the little things that need my attention.
I've seen plenty of inventive hold-open devices on fire-rated doors, but I've never seen instructional signage to go along with them! Coincidentally, I received photos of a chain hold-open and the signage for a chain hold-open on the same day from two different people. The photos are not from the same facility or even the same country for that matter.