Fire Door Maintenance: Inspection, Repair and Recertification

Fire Door Maintenance: Inspection, Repair and Recertification

Fire doors are crucial to your facility’s fire safety and code compliance. They ensure your building and its occupants are protected in fire emergencies by preventing the spread of fire and smoke. However, fire doors can’t work reliably unless you take proper care of them through consistent inspections and maintenance.

Fire Door Assemblies and Components

What are the key components of fire doors? Understanding the role of fire doors in building safety can help you be proactive in scheduling repairs and providing general maintenance. Here’s a breakdown of fire door components and how they contribute to fire safety: 

  • Hinges: Each fire door requires three fire-rated hinges to prevent it from warping in a fire. 
  • Packers: Packers contribute to quick leveling of door frames while preventing fire from spreading through the fire door.
  • Sealants: Several types of sealants can seal the gaps between door frames to prevent flames and smoke from spreading through.
  • Glazing tape: Glazing tape works in conjunction with fire-rated glass to provide a solution against the spread of fire.
  • Intumescent door strips: Door strips consist of a seal with a connected brush pile or foam strip. Fitting into the rebate of the door, the strips expand when in contact with heat to prevent fire and smoke from moving through the gaps.
  • Grilles: Fire grilles swell when exposed to heat, providing a barrier to restrict the passage of hot gases.
  • Locks: Sashlocks and deadlocks — once used in conjunction with intumescent pad sets — can provide protection against fire for a certain length of time, depending on the manufacturer.
  • Closers: Closers ensure the fire door closes appropriately to prevent fire and smoke from spreading. They must be up to a fire-rated standard.

The Function and Importance of Fire Door Inspections

Fire doors are made from steel and are engineered, tested and approved by authorities with a fire rating. They can withstand smoke, flames, heat and other elements for a specific length of time, with fire ratings typically ranging from 45 minutes to four hours, depending on the manufacturer.

Fire doors must be maintained in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). When functioning correctly, fire doors can slow and prevent the spread of fire throughout a building — protecting it from severe damage.

As a result, NFPA 80 mandates annual inspections for fire doors to ensure they operate correctly. NFPA 80 requires all fire doors to be equipped with specific hardware and accessories, including smoke seals, self-closing devices and fire-rated hinges that can withstand high temperatures and pressures of a fire. Failure to comply can result in safety hazards, fines, penalties and civil liability.

NFPA 101 is another document that sets standards for exit pathway requirements and their protection. The document can be consulted for information regarding obstructions that prevent fire doors from closing properly or opening freely, as well as lock requirements.

The cost of a fire door inspection will depend on factors like the size of your building and the number of doors that need to be inspected. Ultimately, the cost of neglecting fire door care can be much higher than investing in inspections and proactive maintenance.

Why Fire Door Maintenance Matters for Safety and Compliance

Failing to inspect, repair and maintain your fire doors can put lives at risk. When neglected, fire doors can potentially be a fire hazard. If the door doesn’t close properly, it leaves a room vulnerable to fire, and without maintenance, they are at greater risk of breaking down. Over time, a fire door’s hinges, latches and other components can wear out and must be replaced. 

Why Fire Door Maintenance Matters for Safety and Compliance

Non-compliance with fire doors can result in fines, penalties and legal liability. Additionally, most insurance companies require proof of compliance with fire door regulations before issuing coverage. Keeping up with fire door maintenance helps keep you compliant, so you can avoid potentially costly consequences that also impact your building’s occupants.

It’s important to note that fire door regulations and compliance can be complex, with specific requirements ranging from accessibility to proper emergency exit hardware. As a result, working with a professional team can be the best solution to ensure you don’t miss any steps.

How to Extend the Life Span of Fire Doors 

While there is no set rule for how long a fire door should last, you’ll want to consider how often they are used and the frequency of their inspections to get a better idea of how long your fire doors will function. Scheduling regular inspections and maintenance can ensure proper replacements and repairs and extend the life span of fire doors.

Fire doors require professional installation and repairs to ensure they perform as intended. Facility managers play a crucial role in fire safety, as they can partner with professionals for fire door inspections and maintenance to ensure doors are up to code.

To ensure the function of fire doors, maintenance and inspection should include the following steps: 

  • Preparation and regulatory knowledge: Professionals should gather fire door specifications and previous inspection records to service your fire door and ensure it meets code compliance.
  • Visual inspection: Next, thoroughly examining the door’s parts, gaps, hinges, frame, hardware and other components is necessary to ensure nothing is missing or needs to be replaced. 
  • Operational testing: Finally, the door should be tested to ensure it operates as intended.

Contact Alliance Environmental for Fire Door Maintenance and Inspection Services

Fire door maintenance is a crucial component of your life safety plan. While annual inspections are required, you should also call professionals if you notice any missing or broken parts on your fire door, which can make it less effective. By investing in expert services for your fire doors, you can greatly enhance the protection of your building and its occupants.

When you’re ready for inspection and maintenance, partner with Alliance Environmental, an industry leader in environmental remediation and indoor air quality services. We can inspect, relabel, recertify, repair and even replace fire doors to ensure they meet safety and compliance standards. Our fire life safety services also include fire damper inspection and repair, fire sprinkler head cleanings, fire barrier surveys and more. 

Don’t compromise on the safety of your building. Contact us for professional fire door maintenance and inspection services today.

Contact Alliance Environmental for Fire Door Maintenance and Inspection Services
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