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Fire-rated doors are designed with materials and hardware made to stop a fire from spreading for a certain amount of time. Fire door testing involves performing specific checks for these doors to be compliant and a record of annual testing must be kept, according to the International Building Code (IBC).
Commercial buildings and residences contain fire-rated walls which segment the building in a way that prevents fire from spreading throughout rapidly. Fire-rated walls also have openings (doors) in them which people, equipment, and vehicles may pass through, the doors themselves must comply with IBC and local rules for how quickly the doors close by themselves, and to what amount of time the doors must be rated to withstand a fire. Fire doors have labels on them denoting the rating and must not be covered or painted over.
Fire-rated rolling doors are designed to withstand the heat and pressure of a fire for a set amount of time. Building codes require openings in fire-rated walls to have fire-rated doors, which close themselves in the event of a fire. A fire-rated door has a rating requirement correlated to the rating of the walls, you can find out which doors need to be fire-rated by contacting you local building and zoning department or fire department.
Typically, fire-rated doors are located in openings leading out to a common area or hallway, in an opening to an electrical or generator room, in openings between a warehouse and an office, and sometimes leading to the exterior, if the building produces or handles flammable material / compounds or is in close proximity with another building. Certain applications for fire doors prefer a sliding fire door configuration or do not have enough room for an overhead door.
Fire Door Testing
NFPA 80 requires all Fire Doors to be Tested Annually. Section 188.8.131.52 reads: All horizontal or vertical sliding and rolling doors shall be inspected and tested annually to check for proper operation and full closure. Resetting of the release mechanism shall be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. A written record shall be maintained and be made available to the authority having jurisdiction. 15.5.3 States when a fire door, frame, or any part or its appurtenances receives damage to the extent it could impair the door’s proper emergency function it shall be repaired with parts obtained from the original door’s manufacturer. Upon completion of repairs the door shall be tested to assure emergency operation and closing.
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