In the past, we have talked about the importance of fire door inspections and repairs in healthcare facilities. Hospitals and Nursing Homes are considered “Defend in Place” facilities because of the amount of patients and residents that are unable to move or be move quickly in the event of a fire. Therefore, passive fire protection systems have been put in place to help keep them safe in the event of a fire. However, fire door inspections and repairs are just as important in non-healthcare facilities as they are in healthcare facilities.
Fire doors are a key component of a building’s over all passive fire protection system. They have been specifically designed to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building, while providing a safe egress for those trying to evacuate. However, in order for a fire door to do its job, it must be properly maintained to be in-compliance with the codes and standards. Fire doors are complicated devices, with many different parts working together to help the door function properly. Unfortunately, this allows for many different deficiencies to occur over time, so it is important to know what to watch out for.
Most Common Fire Door Deficiencies:
- Painted or missing fire door labels
- Poor clearance dimensions around the perimeter of the door in the closed position
- Kick down door holders
- Auxiliary hardware items that interfere with the intended function of the door (barrel bolts and dead bolts, etc.)
- Fire doors blocked to stay in the open position
- Area surrounding the fire door assembly blocked by furniture, equipment and/or boxes
- Broken, defective or missing hardware items (latch bolts and/or strike plated, closer arms, cover plates, etc.)
- Fire exit hardware installed on doors that are not labeled for use with fire exit hardware
- Missing or incorrect fasteners
- Bottom flush bolts that do not project 1/2" into the strike
Whether you are a facility manager in the educational arena, commercial or hospitality, ensuring that your building occupants are safe in the event of a fire is of the up most importance. Although fire door inspections and repairs seem like an impossible task, they are the key to making sure fire doors will properly close and latch in the event of a fire. So don’t wait for a fire to happen, ensure your facility’s fire doors work by having them inspected and repaired.