Fire doors are a necessary component of the building structure for every business. They can slow down or stop a fire from advancing from one area of the building to another. These special doors are different from emergency exits in that they are intended for everyday use. Because they are used every day, it is imperative that your fire doors are up to code.
Here is a checklist for making sure the doors are working properly, and how to know if they need repaired. Your doors should be inspected every year.
What makes fire doors special?
- They allow the occupants of a building to escape during the event of a fire but will then automatically close on their own when a fire alarm is triggered, blocking the spread of the fire.
- They can be regular exits, exits to stairwells, a door from hallway to hallway,or from a room.
- These doors can literally save your business or even save a life.
Fire Door Checklist
There should be a proper label certificating laboratory testing (this is a sticker on the door). There are some exceptions where a construction label can be used. A construction label denotes that the door is constructed with the same materials and specifications of a fire door, but it has not been tested in a laboratory.
Self Closing Hinges
Hinges on a fire door must be made of steel. Fire doors can not be propped open with a doorstop, chair, string, etc. The only ways that a fire door should be propped open is via electromagnetic device, such as a handicap button, or with a door prop that is equipped with a smoke detector. The hinges on the door must automatically close when a fire alarm is triggered.
Fire doors must have a latch that will resist pressure from a fire that will make the door explode. This is called a latchbolt and it is different than a deadbolt or electromagnetic latch. A latchbolt slides into place to keep the door shut. This automatically clicks into place when the door is in the closed position. You can tell if your door has a latch bolt simply by hearing it click into place when the door swings shut.
Your fire doors must test resistant to heat if there is not a sprinkler system installed. This is achieved by installing intumescent seals. These are placed at the top of the door and will expand in a fire to hold the heat and smoke back.
If you suspect that your fire doors are not up to code, there are fire door repair services available through companies like All Kind Door Services Ltd. It may behoove you to contact a licensed door repair person before your annual inspection occurs. This way you can do any repairs that are necessary, and avoid fines, penalties, or temporary business closure