Fire Door Inspection - What you need to know?

A fire door inspection that is perfect.Fire Door Inspections for fire-rated doors is an integral part of your building’s overall fire protection system. An operating fire door, just like a properly operating fire damper, is a key component to the compartmentalization of a building to stop the spread of deadly fire, smoke, and toxic fumes.  If the fire door assembly isn’t working properly, your facility is at risk.

How long have annual Fire Door Inspection requirements been required?

Annual fire door inspections were introduced with the adoption of the 2007 Edition of NFPA 80.  The newest standard still requires that fire-rated doors be tested for functionality no less than annually and that a written record of the inspection be kept on file for the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

How do you perform Fire Door Inspection and Fire Door Testing?

Step 1 - Figure out what type of door and frame you are inspecting to pinpoint the required NFPA 80 requirements.

Step 2 - Download our free Fire Door Inspection Checklist

Step 3 - Make sure you have the correct fire door gauge to check for the appropriate clearances and proceed with checking your doors.

Check that the door, frame, hinges, hardware, are aligned and in working order. Verify that the face of the door is flush or slightly inset with the face of the frame. Check that the top and bottom flush bolts project one-half inch into the strike. Look for signs of damage. You will want to use a door gap gauge to check the door margins to make sure they are within the outlined requirements. Note: Measure all clearance dimensions on the pull side of the door when doing a fire door inspection.

Who can inspect a fire door?

You can inspect if you have the right fire door inspection training. The NFPA requires that Annual Fire Door Inspections be performed by individuals with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of door being inspected. You can become certified through a fire door inspector training by an organization such as DHI.

How are fire door clearances measured?

Step 1 Figure out what type of door and frame you are inspecting to pinpoint the NFPA 80 requirements.

Step 2 Measure the door frame gaps and check the door assembly.

Step 3 Verify that your door gaps fall within the required min and maximum requirement as required by NFPA 80 and adjust as required.

How often should you be testing fire doors?

To minimize failures and improve reliability, NFPA 80 states, “Fire door assemblies shall be inspected and tested not less than annually, and a written record of the inspection shall be signed and kept for inspection by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).”

Door Gap Gauge

$29.95

Another side profile highlighting the steps of the door gap gauge.

ADA Door Pressure Gauge Push-Pull, 0-35lbs

$54.99

ADA Push Door Pressure Gauge

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Top and Vertical Edge of Door Requirements:

  • For Steel Doors Swinging in pairs the clearance between the top and the vertical edges of the door, the frame, and the meeting edges shall be 1/8″ – 1/16″.
  • For Wood Doors Swinging in pairs the clearance between the top and vertical edges of the door, the frame and the meeting edges shall not exceed 1/8″.

Bottom of Door Requirements:

  • The clearance under the bottom of a door and non-combustible surface where no sill exists shall be a maximum of 3/4″.
  • The clearance under the bottom of a door and raised non-combustible sills shall be a maximum of 3/8″.

Measuring the Top and Vertical Edge of Door Requirements:

  • Grab you gauge and locate the step portion of the gauge with the dimension that you are looking to measure.
  • Place the gauge in your hand so you can insert the gauge between the door and the frame. The gauge should fit in the gap between the door and the frame, sliding along the entire length of the gap along the top and vertical edges.

Measuring the Bottom of Door Requirements:

  • Grab you gauge and locate the step portion of the gauge with the dimension that you are looking to measure.
  • Place the gauge in your hand so you can insert the gauge under the bottom of the door and take an accurate measurement during the fire door inspection.

Step 4 Verify that your gaps fall within the min and maximum requirement as identified by NFPA 80 and adjust as required.

Who is qualified to perform the inspections?

Inspections can be performed by employees of the facility, such as maintenance personnel. However, they must have the knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the type of assembly being tested — which typically will be swinging doors with builders hardware — and meet the definition of a qualified person. NFPA 80 defines a qualified person as a person, who by the possession of a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or skill, and who, by knowledge, training, and experience, has demonstrated the ability to deal with the subject matter, the work, or the project.

Is documentation of the inspection and testing required?

In addition to the annual inspection and testing of fire assemblies, it is the facility manager’s responsibility to retain records — in either hard copy or digital form — for review by the authority having jurisdiction. CMS established January 1, 2018, as the date for full compliance with the annual fire door assembly inspection and testing.