Fire door inspections: Using outside contractors vs. DIY
When it comes to fire door inspections why not just do it yourself? 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 and deciphering these codes can be challenging. Many facilities departments are trying the do-it-yourself approach before AHJ (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) surveys because it seems easier and more cost-effective. Although it may work for some, it can become tough to keep up with the inspections, verify all the doors are in working order, and even more difficult to manage the reporting. This is why more facilities managers rely on third party vendors to perform their inspections.

The Top 4 Benefits of Outsourcing to a Third Party Contractor:

1) Save Time. The door opens. The door closes. It MUST be working perfect! Right? Wrong. Inspections can be lengthy and complex. If you look at our The Importance of Fire Door Inspections post you can see all the fire door requirements listed. Depending on how many doors your facility has, door inspections can take hours upon hours. Having a third party come in and inspect your fire doors can give you back your time to use on other projects.

2) Professional and well-trained field technicians. Choosing a third party vendor can help you meet all NFPA and other requirements. You won’t have to worry about researching and keeping up with changes to every code. Some third party vendors have Door and Hardware Certified Door Inspectors on staff that are trained by DHI and Intertek specifically for door inspections. They can get the job done accurately to make sure you are completely safe in the case of a fire and prepared for your next AHJ survey.

3) Efficient Documentation. 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.

4) Timely Repairs. 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.

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.

PREVENT has you covered. Learn more about Fire Door Inspections and repairs.
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