To understand fire door hardware, you must remember that fire doors serve four main purposes:
1) To serve as a regular door at all times;
2) to provide ready egress during a fire;
3) to keep fire from spreading throughout the building; and
4) to protect life and property.
To adequately perform these functions, a fire door must be equipped with fire listed hardware for dependable operation. Proper hardware selections can be verified by consulting the current editions of “Building Materials Directory” published by Underwriters Laboratories Inc., “Directory of Listed Products” published by Intertek Testing Services and “Hardware for Labeled Fire Doors” published by the Door and Hardware Institute. These manuals identify hardware and other products that may be used in fire-rated assemblies.
The National Fire Protection Association’s publication, NFPA 80, entitled, “Standard for Fire Doors and Fire Windows” provides guidance for installing fire doors and frames and hardware in the openings of a building.