Back in late 2007, new language contained in NFPA 80 (Standard for Fire doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2007 edition) requiring documented inspections for fire-rated door assemblies on an annual basis (Chapter 5, Care and Maintenance) was adopted and DHI officially launched the Fire Door Assembly Inspection program at the DHI Exposition and Trade Show. This included delivering our first Fire Door Assembly Inspection class (DAI600) to over one hundred students The Door Safety & Security Foundation published and released two publications, one is an AHJs Guide and the other is an Owners Guide to provide a detailed understanding of this new standard. These books will help us build awareness of and create demand for our new industry program throughout the built environment.
That was 2007. What about now? NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, continues to require documented inspections for fire-rated door assemblies to be performed on an annual basis. Chapter 5, Care and Maintenance, addresses the care and maintenance of fire doors and fire windows, both new and existing.
Paragraph 5.2.1 (2010) 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 AHJ.” Swinging doors with builders hardware are the most common type of fire door assembly, and are among the most complex due to the myriad of materials and component products that are used to create them. These assemblies often provide accessibility, security, and life-safety functions in addition to their fire-safety protection, also increasing their complexity. Inspectors must thoroughly understand the dynamics of these assemblies in order to correctly evaluate them in the field.
Additionally, the 2009 edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code expanded on NFPA 80’s inspection requirements for fire-rated door assemblies where the door leaves are required to swing in the direction of egress travel. NFPA 101 also requires non-fire rated door assemblies to be inspected in conjunction with the fire-rated door assemblies. Currently, NFPA 101’s requirements apply to door assemblies installed in new and existing assembly, day care, educational, and residential board and care occupancies, but those occupancies will continue to increase, especially in light of the CMS adoption of LSC and their requirement for annual inspections. Regardless of economics, doors assemblies will need to be inspected and maintained to code, by law.