Fire doors: Reasons for failure & maintenance tips

#1 Reason for Fire Door Failure

Doors in any type of commercial facility take tremendous abuse from everyday use. In addition, the constant battering, propping open, slamming and jamming of the doors takes a toll on the door and frame integrity itself. The result is the most common deficiency among fire doors, “the failure to close in an actual fire”, states the NFPA. This issue is one of the most severe, as the doors when not properly closed, do not hold back flames or smoke and allow for the fire and smoke to spread more quickly. The most common reasons fire doors are not able to close are:


1. Lack of maintenance
2. Damage to the door itself or closing mechanism
3. Misaligned tracks
4. Doorway blockage
5. Inoperative latches
6. Faulty seals
7. Improperly adjusted closing devices


Code Compliance

Although the code in NFPA 80 requires fire door inspections ANNUALLY, it also requires that fire doors be kept in proper operating condition at all times and any noted defects be repaired or replaced without delay. In order to protect the safety and security of your building occupants and emergency responders, it’s important that you take precautionary measures in between inspections to make sure that your doors operate properly in the event of an actual fire.

Maintenance Tips

Prevent door blockage by regularly checking hallways and doorways and clearing out any items that may be blocking the door from completely closing. Doors should not be held open by any non-approved device or stoppers. Operate swinging doors that are normally held open at frequent intervals to test automatic closing devices. Maintain and make available to AHJ, state and local regulatory agencies all records of fire door maintenance and repair. Do not paint fusible links or other heat activated devices and remove paint from any moveable parts.

By taking these precautions in between your annual inspections, you can ensure reliable protection or fire door performance for your building’s occupants and emergency personnel.

Learn more information on fire door inspections, repairs, or re-certification or get a free quote.

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