Fire Door: Is Your Company Ready? Updated NFPA-80

Posted 07/30/2013 - 11:03am by Gina Fetterhoff

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is updating the NFPA-80 standards for fire doors in 2013. Are your company and buildings ready?

NFPA-80 standards require building owners and managers to have their rolling and sliding fire doors inspected and drop tested annually and to maintain written documentation of such inspections. Area Fire Marshalls and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) will soon be receiving updates on the 2013 standards to apply them at facilities such as yours.

The 2013 NFPA-80 standards are more stringent than in previous years such that some fire doors that have been deemed “compliant” in the past may no longer be “compliant” under the new standards. Here are a few of the new standards that we expect to have the most impact.

  1. Fire door installation and annual drop testing must be performed by Rolling Steel Fire Door Technicians as certified by the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA). Overhead Door Company of Grand Rapids has certified Rolling Steel Fire Door Technicians on staff.
  2. Fire doors must be inspected and tested annually and have a written documentation of the inspection and test. Fire doors that don’t pass testing can be accepted by the AHJ, but the AHJ must inspect that door annually until the door is brought into compliance or replaced. Overhead Door Company of Grand Rapids inspects and tests hundreds of fire doors annually. We understand how the standards are applied for determining compliance.
  3. Older fire doors that have been deemed compliant under older standards cannot be “grandfathered”. These older doors must either be repaired or replaced with a compliant fire door, otherwise the AHJ must accept and annually inspect these doors. Overhead Door Company of Grand Rapids can help you evaluate different fire door options in the case of an older, non-compliant door.
  4. Fire doors must only be repaired in the field with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. Any modification or repair that deviates from the manufacturer’s instructions will automatically fail the annual inspection and drop test. Only the AHJ can determine the compliance of fire doors previously modified.
  5. Requirements for proper installation are more rigorous than in the past. A few of the many examples are sash chain must be run within 4 inches of the ceiling, certified fire caulking must be used to seal any gaps and fire doors must be anchored to the wall in a specific manner. Overhead Door Company of Grand Rapids certified Rolling Steel Fire Door Technicians have the training and experience necessary to quickly bring previously installed fire doors into compliance where there are deviations.

We expect that these new standards will result in better compliance and, hopefully, safer fire doors to protect your employees, equipment and facilities in the event of a fire.

For additional questions, please contact your Overhead Door representative at 1-616-261-0300 or contact your local AHJ.