A fire door is a door with a fire-resistance rating (sometimes referred to as a fire protection rating for closures) used as part of a passive fire protection system to reduce the spread of fire and smoke between separate compartments of a structure and to enable safe egress from a building or structure or ship. In North American building codes, it, along with fire dampers, is often referred to as a closure, which can be derated compared against the fire separation that contains it, provided that this barrier is not a firewall or an occupancy separation. In Europe national standards for fire doors have been harmonised with the introduction of the new standard EN 16034, which refers to fire doors as fire-resisting door sets. Starting September 2016, a common CE marking procedure will be available abolishing trade barriers within the European Union for these types of products. In the UK, it is Part B of the Building Regulations that sets out the minimum requirements for the fire protection that must be implemented in all dwellings this includes the use of fire doors. All fire doors must be installed with the appropriate fire resistant fittings, such as the frame and door hardware, for it to fully comply with any fire regulations
All components are required to adhere to product certification requirements that are acceptable to the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) by meeting the requirements of the local building code and fire code. The regulatory requirement will change from country to country. For example, in Australia, the National Construction Code dictates that all fire doors must be tested to certain specifications in order to meet resistance approvals and certification.
For example, in the United Kingdom a fire resisting doorset should be subjected to either a British Standard Fire Test BS 476 Part 22 1987, or a BS/EN 1634-1 2000 test. The results are recorded by the test agency and provided in a report which detail such things as constructional details, distortion data and pressure readings. The numerical fire resistance rating that is required to be installed in a particular building is provided in the Building Regulations approved Document B, or British Standards such as the BS 5588 series (e.g., 30 minutes FD30, or FD30(S) if cold smoke resistance is also required).
Similar technical guidance documents and building regulations are in effect in other countries.
Fire door failure
Fire doors are sometimes rendered unable to provide its listed fire resistance by ignorance of the intended use and associated restrictions and requirements, or by improper use. For example, fire doors are sometimes blocked open, or carpets are run through them, which would allow the fire to travel past the fire barrier in which the door is placed. The door's certification markings are displayed both on the door leaves and the fire door frames, and should not be removed or painted over during the life of the building.
Sometimes fire doors have apparently very large gaps at the foot of them, an inch or two even, allowing air movement, such as in dormitory facilities. This can lead the occupants of a building to question their status as 'real' fire doors. NFPA 80 allows a maximum door undercut of 3/4 inch however fire doors are tested with smaller clearances in accordance with NFPA 252. Corridors have a fire rating of one hour or less, and the fire doors in them are required by code to have a fire rating of 1/2 or 1/3 hour, the intent of which is mainly to restrict smoke travel
Fire door held open by an electromagnet
Most fire doors are designed to be kept closed at all times. Some doors are designed to stay open under normal circumstances, and close automatically in the event of a fire. Whichever method is used, the door's movement should never be impaired by a doorstop or other obstacle. The intumescent and smoke-seal bounding of fire doors should be routinely checked, as should the action of the door closer and latch.
Some fire doors are held open by an electromagnet, which may be wired to a fire alarm system. If the power fails or the fire alarm is activated, the coil is de-energized, and the door closer closes the door. Wireless, battery operated fire door retainers can also be used to safely and legally hold fire doors open.
Rated fire doors are tested to withstand an ASTM E119 standard time-temperature curve for a specified period. There are 20, 30, 45, 60, and 90-minute-rated fire doors that are certified by an approved laboratory designated as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL, e.g., Underwriters Laboratories). The certification only applies if all parts of the installation are correctly specified and installed. For example, fitting the wrong kind of glazing may severely reduce the door's fire resistance period.
No open holes or breaks exist in surfaces of either the door or frame.
Glazing, vision light frames & glazing beads are intact and securely fastened in place, if so equipped.
The door, frame, hinges, hardware, and noncombustible threshold are secured, aligned, and in working order with no visible signs of damage.No parts are missing or broken.Door clearances at the door edge of the door frame (Wood Door), on the pull side of the door, do not exceed clearances listed in 4.8.4 (the clearance under the bottom of the door shall be a maximum of 3/4") and 6.3.1 (top & edges 1/8") Metal door (top & edges up to 3/16")The self-closing device is operational; that is, the active door completely closes when operated from the full open position.If a coordinator is installed, the inactive leaf closes before the active leaf.Latching hardware operates and secure the door when it is in the closed position.Auxiliary hardware items that interfere or prohibit operation are not installed on the door or frame.No field modifications to the door assembly have been performed that void the label.Gasketing and edge seals, where required, are inspected to verify their presence and integrity.
According to building and fire codes, annual fire door inspections is the responsibility of the building owner. However, as with other mandatory fire inspections, such as the inspection of fire dampers, the fire door inspections are often omitted and many facilities are out of compliance.
The final say on the acceptance of any inspection requires the approval of the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
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