Fire doors are complex devices with hundreds of moving parts and a well-thought out designs to help protect not only the occupants but the buildings structure from further fire damage. With many parts that go into making a fire door work means there is a higher chance for those parts to become deficient, and cause a fire door to be out of compliance with fire codes. To help guarantee that every part of a fire door will properly work during an emergency, NFPA 80 created a list of requirements for fire door inspections. One of the requirements for fire doors are fire rated labels.
According to NFPA 80, fire doors are required to have a fire rated label that remains legible throughout the duration of the door. These labels are there to mark that the openings of a fire door and frame have been tested and passed according to the required standards. Each label contains information about that particular fire door and frame. This information includes the manufacturer, the fire-resistance rating, if the opening needs to be furnished with fire exit hardware, and if the door has a temperature rise rating or is a smoke door assembly. The fire door labels may also provide the manufacturer's number to access more information about the door’s original construction. Fire rated labels are typically made of metal, paper or plastic, but may be allowed to be printed into the door item.
NFPA 80 – Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives:
4.2.1 – Listed items shall be identified by a label.
4.2.2 – Labels shall be applied in locations that are readily visible and convenient for identification by the AHJ after installation of the assembly.
Fire door and frame labels provide AHJs, building owners and inspectors’ proof that the fire doors and door assemblies have been properly tested and inspected. Unfortunately, painted or missing labels are one of the top reasons for deficiencies. If the label is missing or has been painted over, then there is no proof that the door was inspected and meets the required standards, which puts everyone in the building at risk.