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Closers at Unit Entry Doors

Discussion in 'Commercial Fire Codes' started by hughdint, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. hughdint

    hughdint Member

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    I am doing a job in NC that was permitted last year under the 2012 NCFC.
    It is is a 3 story residential apartment building (type V-A).
    I have always specified Spring Hinges for the unit entry doors and never had a problem until now.
    The Fire Marshal is requiring the door to close and latch when opened any amount (like 1").
    The 1012 NCFC says"
    Section 703.2.3 Door Operation: Swinging fire doors shall close from the full-open position and latch automatically. The door closer shall exert enough force to close and latch the door from any partially open position.​
    This agrees with what the fire-marshal is telling us, but how is this done practically? No amount of force applied to spring hinges will allow the door to close if only opened 1" and still allow the door to remain open 1.5 seconds to comply with the HC code.
    I do not think that even a hydraulic closer would close a door if only opened 1" as both types of closers generate the force needed to close by being opened.
    Is a powered door opener and closer required in this situation?
    What are others doing to meet these competing code requirements?
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Maybe that is why it changed to from full open
     
    VillageInspector likes this.
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    You might see if NCFC referenced NFPA 80 2013 edition


    NFPA 80’s inspection requirements, one of the inspection criteria listed in section 5.2.3.5.2 (2013 edition) is:

    (7) The self-closing device is operational; that is, the active door completely closes when operated from the full open position.


    https://idighardware.com/2015/02/wwyd-fire-door-closing-cycle/

    Or the fire marshal will accept that edition
     
  4. hughdint

    hughdint Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    The FM is going to "work with us" if we add a third spring hinge.
    Still do not understand the apparent conflict between these two sentences in the fire code:
    Section 703.2.3 Door Operation: Swinging fire doors shall close from the full-open position and latch automatically.
    The door closer shall exert enough force to close and latch the door from any partially open position.
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    """"I didn’t find anything specific in the IBC or NFPA 101 (let me know if I missed it!), but I found this in the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC) Commentary:

    703.2.3 Door operation. Swinging fire doors shall close from the full-open position and latch automatically. The door closer shall exert enough force to close and latch the door from any partially open position.

    IFC Commentary: Fire doors must be closed to be effective. Swinging fire doors should be frequently checked to make sure they close and latch on their own power from any position.

    So, if a fire marshal is enforcing the IFC, then the door would have to close and latch from any position. I’m not sure how feasible this is, or whether a fire marshal would expect a fire door to close and latch from every possible position, but it would certainly meet the intent of the requirement – for fire doors to be closed and latched during a fire."""

    https://idighardware.com/2015/02/wwyd-fire-door-closing-cycle/
     
  6. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Another case of unintended consequences? No discussions with manufacturers before including this in code?
     
  7. IJHumberson

    IJHumberson Sawhorse

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    The intent of the self-closer is to ensure the door closes and latches when an occupant leaves in the event of a fire - I typically open the door to what normally would be sufficient for a person to move through the doorway and let it go shut to see if it latches. I normally don't open it all the way (especially if it's a 180-degree opening door) because that's not the typical movement that would be expected when an occupant leaves the apartment.
     
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