Over the last decade, Prevent Life Safety has inspected hundreds of thousands of fire doors. With each 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 labels 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.
The other thing we see all the time is doors that have failed due to labels being painted over. This is an easy fix. Educate your staff or hired painter about the requirements to stay compliant.
What has to be done next to pass inspection?
Assuming the door has passed the other points of inspection, a new label can be generated and the door/frame can be re-certified.
With all of the new changes implemented in 2016, it’s important to have your fire doors up-to-code. Call Prevent Life Safety today at 1877-392-6074 or request a free quote online.