16.1  About These Standards for Inspecting Commercial Fire Doors

Many buildings, including schools, high-rises, healthcare facilities, churches, office buildings, factories and warehouses are likely to have fire doors.  Should a fire occur, the health, safety and welfare of building occupants and emergency responders depend on the regular inspection of fire doors.

16.2  Purpose

The purpose of this document is to establish international standards for the inspection of commercial fire doors.  This document also provides a universal commercial fire door-inspection reporting form.

16.3  Definitions
16.3.1  Fire Door-Specific Definitions
  • active leaf:  the door of a pair of swinging doors that is normally used.
  • automatic closing device:  a device that causes the door to close when activated by a fusible link or heat-actuated device.
  • barrel:  a cylindrical part of a rolling steel fire door that contains the counter-balance springs.
  • bottom bar:  the lower edge of the door assembly.
  • coordinator:  a device used on pairs of swinging doors that causes the inactive leaf to close before the active leaf.
  • flame baffle:  a hinged piece of sheet metal that closes the space between the top of a rolling steel fire door and its hood.
  • fusible link:  a device consisting of pieces of metal held together by solder that melts during a fire.
  • hood:  a sheet metal housing that contains the rolled door.
  • inactive leaf:  the door of a pair of swinging doors that is normally latched.
  • non-combustible:  not capable of igniting when subjected to fire.
  • sill:  the bottom part of a doorway opening; threshold.
16.3.2  Terminology Commonly Found in Commercial Property Inspection Reports

16.4  Goal of the Inspection

The goal of a commercial fire door inspection is to provide an indication as to whether the door is in a state of readiness to perform its intended function during a fire.

16.5  Limitations

It is not the purpose of this Standard to establish inspection procedures to:  determine the fire rating or the degree of protection provided by a fire door or surrounding wall; determine the need for a fire door in any particular location; determine proper placement of detectors; determine the functionality of fire-detection systems; heat-test fusible links; determine the combustibility of floor coverings extending through doorways; inspect accordion, folding, hoistway, elevator, chute, access or dumbwaiter doors; inspect fire windows; or inspect fabric fire-safety curtains.

16.6  Optional Add-On Inspection Service
InterNACHI-CCPIA’s Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties does not require the inspector to perform fire door inspections.  The fire door inspection may be offered in conjunction with a complete commercial property inspection or as a separate, stand-alone inspection service.

16.7  Inspection Frequency

Fire doors should be inspected after any incidents that may have damaged the door or its components, or upon noticing possible damage, but not less than annually

16.8  Visual Inspection

16.8.1  The inspector should visually inspect from both sides of the door assembly.

16.8.2  The inspector should inspect the door opening and surrounding area for potential obstructions, items or conditions that might interfere with the free operation of the door.

16.8.3  The inspector should inspect for auxiliary items that could interfere with door operation.

16.8.4  The inspector should inspect for missing or insecure mounting and assembly bolts.

16.8.5  The inspector should inspect for evidence of field modifications that may void the door’s fire rating.

16.8.6  The inspector should inspect for open holes or breaks that exist in either the door or frame.

16.8.7  The inspector should inspect for failed glazing or glazing beads that are not intact or securely fastened.

16.8.8  The inspector should inspect for missing or broken parts.

16.8.9  The inspector should inspect for combustible sills.  Sill should be non-combustible.

16.8.10  The inspector should inspect for clearances of swinging doors between the top and vertical edges of the door and the frame, and the meeting edges of doors swinging in pairs, measured from the pull-side of the door, that exceed 1/8-inch (3.18 mm) + 1/16-inch (1.59 mm) for steel doors, and + 1/8-inch (3.18 mm) for wood doors.

16.8.11  The inspector should inspect for clearances of swinging doors under the bottom of the door that exceed ¾-inch (19 mm), and 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) for doors that have sills more than 38 inches (965 mm) above the finished floor (such as repair counters).

16.8.12  The inspector should inspect the opening of sliding doors at the sides and top for overlaps that are less than 4 inches (102 mm).

16.8.13  The inspector should inspect and note whether combustible floor coverings extend through the door opening, although, depending on the rating of the door, some combustible floor coverings are permitted to extend through door openings.  Determining compliance lies beyond the scope of a commercial fire door inspection.  Combustible flooring should never extend through doorways protected by three-hour (or greater)-rated fire doors.

16.9  Operational Check

16.9.1  Before checking, the inspector should identify anything that might create a hazard during the operational check.  If, in the opinion of the inspector, a hazard might be created by operating the door, the inspector shall not perform the operational-check portion of the inspection.

16.9.2  The inspector should open and close the door using normal operation.  Doors should open and close easily.

16.9.3  The inspector should inspect the condition of any gaskets or edge seals.

16.9.4  The inspector should inspect the guides and bearings for lack of lubrication.

16.9.5  The inspector should inspect for blocking or wedging of doors in the open position, or blocked or wedged release arms and weights of sliding and rolling doors.

16.9.6  The inspector should inspect for kinked, pinched, twisted, or excessively worn chains or cables of sliding and rolling doors.

16.9.7  The inspector should inspect the condition of any fusible links and heat–actuated devices (if equipped).  Links should not be painted or coated with dust or grease.

16.9.8  The inspector should inspect signs installed on the surface of the fire door for interference with the proper operation of the door.

16.9.9  The inspector should inspect for signage that exceeds 5% of the total area of the face of the fire door to which it is attached.

16.9.10  The inspector should inspect for signs that are attached by mechanical means, such as screws or nails.  Signs should be attached to fire doors by the use of adhesive only.
16.9.11  The inspector should inspect for rating and inspection labels and tags that have been painted over.  Labels and tags should not be painted over.

16.10  Simulation (Drop) Test

16.10.1  Before testing, the inspector should identify anything that might create a hazard during testing.  If, in the opinion of the inspector, a hazard might be created by testing, the inspector shall not perform the testing portion of the inspection.

16.10.2  The inspector should perform all testing and re-setting of the release mechanism in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  If instructions are not made available at the time of the inspection, the inspector should continue only if s/he has knowledge and understanding of the operating components of that type of door.

16.10.3  The inspector should inspect for missing closing devices (self-closing or automatic).  Every fire door should have a closing device.

16.10.4  The inspector should test any self-closing devices of swinging doors to assure that they close and latch the door completely when operated from the fully-open position.

16.10.5  The inspector should inspect closing mechanisms of swinging doors for hold-open features.  Closing mechanisms should not have hold-open features unless they are on doors that are designed to automatically close during an alarm condition.

16.10.6  The inspector should test any coordinators of dual-leaf doors for failure to close the inactive leaf before the active leaf.  A coordinator is not needed where each door leaf closes and latches independently of the other.

16.10.7  The inspector should inspect for latching hardware that fails to operate or fails to secure the door when it is in the closed position.

16.10.8  The inspector should inspect for normal operation and full closure of sliding and rolling doors with an initial simulation (drop) test.

16.10.9  The inspector should inspect the closing for speeds slower than 6 inches per second (152 mm/sec.), or faster than 24 inches per second (610 mm/sec.).

16.10.10  The inspector should perform a second simulation (drop) test of sliding and rolling doors to verify that the automatic closing device has been re-set.
16.11  Sample Reporting Language (click below to download Word Doc)
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