Friday, August 30, 2013

The Most Common Flaws in Swinging Fire Door Assemblies

We have discussed before how the fire doors of a building are critical to the safety and security of any building. Because of this fact, an annual inspection of those fire doors and the accompanying hardware are equally critical to your building’s policies and procedures.

A fire door inspector typically pays a visit under a couple different circumstances – either by request of a building owner as a matter of policy, or after the State Fire Marshal issues an order for the building owner to call one. Either way, there are some deficiencies that are all too common when an inspector is checking out your fire doors.

1)      The label is painted or missing. The Fire Door’s label shows the purpose of the door (essentially, that it is a certified Fire Door), and bears the Warnock Hersey seal, along with the door’s rating (anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours). This label is almost always on the hinge edge of the door, just below the top hinge, although some assemblies have the label along the top edge. Making sure that label is there is extremely important. If you have to look twice because that label happens to be painted over, that is just as bad as not having a label at all; both are violations.

2)      Lack of clearance when the door is closed. A facility’s Fire Door must have clearance, whether it is opening into a room or hallway, the door’s function cannot be obstructed by furniture, equipment, or any kinds of items or clutter.

3)      Blockage that keeps a fire door open. Just as above, any sort of equipment or obstacle used to hold a fire door open is a code violation. Even something as simple as a kick-down door holder on a Fire Door goes against code.

4)      Broken, defective or missing hardware items. A Fire Door’s function in the event of a fire is extremely important. The door itself must withstand intense pressure from fire and heat, and the hardware involved has to serve its purpose as well. If there are bolts or plates that are missing or damaged, that is a violation that has to be addressed.

5)      Fire exit hardware on doors that are not labeled for use with that hardware. A fire door is not a fire door unless it is labeled as such. Because of the function that door is expected to perform, there is no room for compromise when it comes to the material and components of the door itself. Fire exit hardware does not make any door a Fire Door.

For more information on Fire Door Inspections and labeling, or to schedule an appointment with a Warnock Hersey Certified Door Inspector, call DCI at (614) 634-1976.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Do Fire Door Ratings Mean?

Fire Doors serve two purposes in a commercial building. They provide safe passage out of the building in the case of a fire, and they help keep a fire from spreading to other parts of the building, and help reduce smoke hazards that can stop those inside from leaving the building.

The labels on fire doors include a rating – ranging from 20 minutes to three hours – which indicates how long that door can withstand fire and heat under test conditions.

So one might ask, “Why are there different ratings? Wouldn’t I want three-hour Fire Doors everywhere?” It’s not that simple.

The ratings on Fire Doors are based on what the door’s purpose is, and where they are installed – and each level serves a specific purpose in helping people inside a building to escape:

1)      Three-Hour – You will find a three-hour fire door installed in a wall that separates two buildings. However, in larger buildings, a three-hour door may also be used to provide access among smaller areas within the building.

2)      90-Minute – The two most common areas where you will find a 90-minute door are on an exterior wall where there may be severe fire exposure on the outside of the building; or in stairwells, where people may be trying to escape from upper floors. Think of the signs you see that say to use the stairs in case of fire. That is because they are very well protected from fire outside of those doors.

3)      One-Hour – These fire doors are typically found between rooms within the same building.

4)      45-Minute – Fire Doors rated for 45 minutes are typically found in walls that serve as room partitions, as well as corridor walls. Some exterior fire doors where there may be moderate fire exposure outside may also carry this rating.

5)      20-Minute – These fire doors are mostly found in hallways, and serve the primary purpose of controlling smoke and drafts while people make their way out of the building.

A Warnock Hersey Certified Door Inspector can offer more insights on the proper ratings for Fire Doors, and also ensure that they are labeled properly and in good working order. For more information on Fire Door labeling, call the Door Code Inspection Service at (614) 634-1976.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

PRESS ROOM: The Door Company Receives "Designated Labeled Shop" Status

Big news at The Door Company this week, as the company announced its status as a Designated Labeled Shop, as awarded by Intertek. The designation expands The Door Company’s offerings to include the production and labeling of commercial fire doors for businesses.

Intertek is the regulatory body that handles testing and certification to meet quality, health, environmental and safety guidelines. The company has jurisdiction over Warnock Hersey Certification, which is required for all fire door inspectors, including The Door Company’s affiliate, Door Code Inspection Service, also based in Columbus, Ohio.

The “Labeled Shop” designation concludes a certification process consisting of an on-site physical inspection of The Door Company’s fabrication facilities, review of labeling requirements and an intensive training program to ensure the facility meets stringent public safety guidelines associated with the production of fire doors.

The new designation complements The Door Company’s long-standing history of servicing Central Ohio’s commercial door needs since 1993. TDC offers installation and service of a wide variety of commercial door options, including automatic, revolving, overhead and other commercial doors. The company also provides hollow metal door fabrication on site, along with an online parts catalog and walk-in pick-up counter.

For more information, contact The Door Company at (614) 338-1414, or visit

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