Fire door failure

- Nov 20, 2018-

Fire doors are sometimes rendered unable to provide its listed fire resistance by ignorance of the intended use and associated restrictions and requirements, or by improper use. For example, fire doors are sometimes blocked open, or carpets are run through them, which would allow the fire to travel past the fire barrier in which the door is placed. The door's certification markings are displayed both on the door leaves and the fire door frames, and should not be removed or painted over during the life of the building.

Sometimes fire doors have apparently very large gaps at the foot of them, an inch or two even, allowing air movement, such as in dormitory facilities. This can lead the occupants of a building to question their status as 'real' fire doors. NFPA 80 allows a maximum door undercut of 3/4 inch however fire doors are tested with smaller clearances in accordance with NFPA 252. Corridors have a fire rating of one hour or less, and the fire doors in them are required by code to have a fire rating of 1/2 or 1/3 hour, the intent of which is mainly to restrict smoke travel.