What You Should Know About Fire Door Inspections

Here’s the thing: Maintenance managers assume local fire marshals are responsible for conducting the inspections. On the other hand, most fire marshals state that they don’t have the manpower to handle that task. Additionally, this particular standard was only considered a referenced standard and not written into building codes. 

Among the biggest changes that this has for building managers are the annual inspection and testing requirement for all fire doors. Most of the time, building owners are responsible for ensuring the fire door inspection is done and properly documented. The intent of this is to give the authorities the ability to see and check fire door inspection documentation like they do with sprinkler systems, alarms, and other fire safety systems. 

If you are a maintenance or engineering manager, then knowing about fire door inspection is important. Here’s what you need to know:

Fire Door Locations

Fire doors are commonly found in exit stairwells and elevator shafts. They are also found in areas like exit corridors and smoke barrier enclosures. Fire doors are usually made of fire-rated materials like steel. These doors can also be automatic or manual in nature. In any case, fire doors should be in good shape, as they serve as the last line of defense against a fire.

Inspection Requirements

Fire doors are required to be inspected annually by the person responsible for the maintenance of the building. The fire marshal, the building manager, or the maintenance manager would normally oversee this task. If the building has several floors and separate elevator shafts, then separate fire door inspection records will be kept for each one. The fire door inspection records must include the date, time, and the name of the person who conducted the inspection. A records card is usually created as a record of the fire door inspection.

Who Are Authorized to Inspect

The fire marshal would usually inspect fire doors or other fire safety systems only when there is a compliance or a fire life safety inspection. This is important as it shows that fire door inspections are not necessarily mandated and are not a standard requirement. Fire doors must be inspected, yes, but the authorities have yet to determine who must inspect them and how often.

Fire Door Inspection Report

This annual fire door inspection report must show the condition of the fire door(s) and if they are in compliance with the fire door safety standards. This report must also be signed and dated. The type of fire door inspection report you fill out for this purpose depends on the fire door safety standards in your area. This inspection report is given only to the building manager who keeps the report in the maintenance and inspection records.

Why You Should Prioritize Repairs

In many cases, the fire door was not the cause of the fire. However, defective fire doors that remain open in a fire can be the culprit. For example, a small fire in the kitchen can spread so fast due to a defective fire door that it can ignite the entire building within minutes. This is why fire safety and fire safety inspections are important.


If you are a building manager, maintenance manager, fire marshal, or owner, then you need to know the requirements for fire door inspections and why it is important for safety. Fire door inspections per NFPA 80 are mandated by the law to be performed annualy. Fire doors are important in fire safety, and the authorities want to ensure their condition and compliance with the fire door safety standards. This, in turn, allows the authorities to determine if the building’s fire door system is working properly.

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