The no. 1 reason fire doors fail inspection (and how to avoid it)

Over the last decade, Prevent Life Safety has inspected hundreds of thousands of fire doors. With each fire door inspection, we log every door and we noticed a pattern. There was one main reason fire doors fail inspections: Missing fire-rated labels.

Why is a missing label and instant failure?
This simplest answer is there’s no way of knowing if it’s a fire rated door or frame. Each label includes information, such as a unique identification number, the hourly rating and the manufacture.

The Steel Door Institute explains the hourly rating on door labels:

Doors are rated for three-fourths of the rating of the surrounding wall: A 3-hour door is used in a 4-hour rated wall; a 1-1/2-hour fire door is used in a 2-hour rated wall; and a 3/4-hour door is used in a one-hour rated wall. The notable exception is that 1/3-hour rated doors are also used with one-hour rated walls.

The label on each fire rated door or frame is key to creating this section of your fire barrier.

What can you do to avoid fire door labels from going missing?
Years ago, doors did not come with their labels. As we inspect different facilities, we’re slowly getting old doors up to new codes by adding their labels.

Another thing our door technicians see regularly are doors that have failed due to fire door labels being painted over. This is an easy fix. Make sure to Educate your staff or hired painter about the fire door requirements to stay code compliant.

What has to be done next to pass inspection?
Assuming the door has passed the other points of a fire door inspection, a new label can be generated and the door/frame can be re-certified.

With all of the new changes implemented over the last five years, it’s important to have your fire doors up-to-code. 

Call 877.392.6074 today to discuss your fire door compliance, or submit a quote request online.

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