DIY fire door inspections: What all FMs need to know
In the sea of tasks each facility manager is responsible for, whether to complete fire door inspections in-house is often up for debate. While the DIY fire door inspections may seem feasible for your staff, is it the best option? Determining what is best for your facility may be a challenge.

What to consider when deciding on in-house DIY fire door inspections:

Time is Money: In-house inspections may seem cost effective in the expense column, however, the man hours involved in completing the inspection often outweigh the savings. For example, based on the type of facility you are running, the number of doors and number of staff members you’re willing to dedicate, it may take a significant block of time that could be spent getting other tasks done. Plus, if the reporting is not done properly, the AHJ may reject your records.

Procedures and Codes: You may have heard a lot about NFPA 80, NFPA 105 and NFPA 101, but did you know there are also other guidelines and regulations for all buildings, such as IBC code, and for hospitals, CMS and TJC requirements. Interpreting, deciphering and keeping up-to-date on these codes can be challenging. Hiring a third-party vendor that has Certified Door and Hardware Inspectors on staff will ensure the job is done accurately and maintain compliance.

Reports and Records: According to NFPA 80 5.2.1 and NFPA 101 7.2 15.4, “a written record of the inspection and testing must be signed and kept on file for AHJ’s to verify that the annual inspection of all fire-rated doors has been completed on time and accurately.” While this sounds simple, if doors are being inspected weekly, monthly and even quarterly this makes it difficult to maintain records and prove all doors were inspected. Third party vendors can provide you with thorough, accurate reporting that live up to AHJ standards.

Repairs Without Delay: Once deficiencies are uncovered during the inspection, repairs must be done without delay. Third party vendors know which parts to order, where they can source them from, and often have spare parts on hand which can save facilities time and money. Without other facility projects to distract them, these trained professionals can make repairs for you quickly and efficiently.

Although in-house fire door inspections may work for some, it can become challenging to keep up with the procedures, verify all the doors are in working order, and even more difficult to manage the reporting. This is why more facility managers often rely on third party vendors to perform their inspections.

Regardless of which method you choose, making sure your facility is compliant is the top priority. Choosing the right life safety service is important. Make sure you are selective and choose a contractor with experience, credentials and a proven track record.
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