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Fire Doors

jeffbouldin

Registered User
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Mt. Juliet, TN
A GC I am working with informed me that any fire rated door had to positively latch. I was aware that stairwell doors had to stay positively latched. But if a door is part of a rated fire wall, and has a fire rating itself, does it have to stay positively latched?

If so can you point to the code reference?
 

classicT

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
2,198
Location
Washington State
716.2.6 Fire Door Hardware and Closures
Fire door hardware and closures shall be installed on fire door assemblies in accordance with the requirements of this section.

716.2.6.1 Door Closing
Fire doors shall be latching and self- or automatic-closing in accordance with this section.
Exceptions:
  1. Fire doors located in common walls separating sleeping units in Group R-1 shall be permitted without automatic- or self-closing devices.
  2. The elevator car doors and the associated hoistway enclosure doors at the floor level designated for recall in accordance with Section 3003.2 shall be permitted to remain open during Phase I emergency recall operation.
  3. In Group I-1, Condition 2 assisted living facilities licensed under Chapter 388-78A WAC and residential treatment facilities licensed under Chapter 246-337 WAC, fire doors in dwelling and sleeping units opening to the corridor shall be permitted without automatic or self-closing devices when all of the following conditions exist:
    1. 3.1. Each floor is constantly attended by staff on a 24-hour basis and stationed on that floor;
    2. 3.2. The facility is provided with an NFPA 13 sprinkler system throughout;
    3. 3.3. Doors shall be equipped with positive latching;
    4. 3.4. Dwelling and sleeping units are not equipped with cooking appliances;
    5. 3.5. Dwelling and sleeping units shall be equipped with a smoke detection system interconnected with the smoke detection system required by Section 907.2.6.1.
716.2.6.2 Latch Required
Unless otherwise specifically permitted, single side-hinged swinging fire doors and both leaves of pairs of side-hinged swinging fire doors shall be provided with an active latch bolt that will secure the door when it is closed.
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Here are a few references from NFPA 80-2016:
6.1.3 Operation of Doors. All swinging doors shall be closed and latched at the time of fire.
6.4.4.3 All single doors and active leaves of pairs of doors shall be provided with an active latch bolt that cannot be held in a retracted position as specified in the individual manufacturer's published listings.
6.4.4.3.3 Latching arrangements that do not provide positive latching in the normal mode shall be permitted to be used provided that, in a fire emergency, the door becomes positively latched by means of an automatic fail-safe device that is activated by an automatic fire detector. (See Section 4.7.)


And from the NFPA 80 Handbook:
The term positive latching, as it is used in reference to NFPA 80 and fire door assemblies, has a special meaning over and above the commonly understood definition of the latch bolt simply being engaged in its strike. In the case of NFPA 80 and fire door assemblies, positive latching is required to secure the door leaves in the closed position throughout the duration of the fire door test, which includes the fire hose stream portion of the test after the assembly has been removed from the test furnace. Latching hardware devices for fire door assemblies are designed to withstand the intense heat and stresses that occur during a fire. At some point during the fire, the latching hardware is designed to become fixed (e.g., unretractable), creating a positive latch that will secure the door leaves in the closed position to prevent the spread of deadly smoke, gases, and flames. All of the nationally recognized fire door tests require the fire door assembly test samples to be fully operable before the tests begin, but they specifically do not require fire door assemblies to be operable after exposure to a fire.

- Lori
 

Drewski

Registered User
Joined
Apr 20, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Marin County
I have a question for the group that hopefully someone can help me with. I have a mid-rise medical office building with self closing and latching fire doors. during maintenance, of the system which happens regularly with new tenants moving in and out, the doors close and latch. Can these doors be equipped with ADA compliant door openers so they open for those with accessibility needs? Additionally, in the case of a fire, if the doors close to isolate the smoke and fire, will these door openers work to let someone in a wheelchair out if they get caught on the wrong side of the door? Any code section reference to go along with this would be great. Thank you in advance.
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
I have a question for the group that hopefully someone can help me with. I have a mid-rise medical office building with self closing and latching fire doors. during maintenance, of the system which happens regularly with new tenants moving in and out, the doors close and latch. Can these doors be equipped with ADA compliant door openers so they open for those with accessibility needs? Additionally, in the case of a fire, if the doors close to isolate the smoke and fire, will these door openers work to let someone in a wheelchair out if they get caught on the wrong side of the door? Any code section reference to go along with this would be great. Thank you in advance.
An automatic operator can be installed on a fire door as long as the operator is listed to UL 10C. BUT - NFPA 80 requires the auto operator to be deactivated automatically if there is a fire, so no, a wheelchair user would not be able to use the auto operator during a fire. Here's the paragraph from NFPA 80:

6.1.3.4 Power-Operated Fire Doors. Power-operated fire doors shall be equipped with a releasing device that shall automatically disconnect the power operator at the time of fire, allowing a self-closing or automatic device to close and latch the door regardless of power failure or manual operation.

- Lori
 

BrendanSmith

Registered User
Joined
Aug 24, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Saint Louis MO
An automatic operator can be installed on a fire door as long as the operator is listed to UL 10C. BUT - NFPA 80 requires the auto operator to be deactivated automatically if there is a fire, so no, a wheelchair user would not be able to use the auto operator during a fire. Here's the paragraph from NFPA 80:

6.1.3.4 Power-Operated Fire Doors. Power-operated fire doors shall be equipped with a releasing device that shall automatically disconnect the power operator at the time of fire, allowing a self-closing or automatic device to close and latch the door regardless of power failure or manual operation.

- Lori
Hi Lori. Unrelated to the ADA question, but related to the cutting of power... I quoted your post about this NFPA 80 requirement to an electrical engineer colleague who then asked if there was a conflict with NEC 517.32 which requires the life safety branch of emergency power to provide power to automatic doors. It would seem weird to provide emergency power only to cut it during an emergency. The only explanation we could come up with is that it would be there to remain functional during a power outage when no fire alarm is present, but still drop out if a fire alarm is triggered (under either power condition). What do you think? Thanks.
 

Inspector Gadget

Registered User
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
121
Location
New Brunswick
A GC I am working with informed me that any fire rated door had to positively latch. I was aware that stairwell doors had to stay positively latched. But if a door is part of a rated fire wall, and has a fire rating itself, does it have to stay positively latched?

If so can you point to the code reference?
Also see NFPA 80 6.1.3.3.1 ...
 

LGreene

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,150
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Hi Lori. Unrelated to the ADA question, but related to the cutting of power... I quoted your post about this NFPA 80 requirement to an electrical engineer colleague who then asked if there was a conflict with NEC 517.32 which requires the life safety branch of emergency power to provide power to automatic doors. It would seem weird to provide emergency power only to cut it during an emergency. The only explanation we could come up with is that it would be there to remain functional during a power outage when no fire alarm is present, but still drop out if a fire alarm is triggered (under either power condition). What do you think? Thanks.
Hi Brendan -

That's interesting...I've never seen that before. I checked the NEC and found a reference in that section to NFPA 99 6.7.5.1.2.4 (6), which says: The life safety branch shall supply power as follows: (6) Electrically powered doors used for building egress

The question is - which electrically powered doors is this referring to? The model codes require automatic doors to allow egress when operated manually, and specify the maximum opening force, so there must be a particular type of electrically powered door that NFPA 99 is referring to. I'm guessing that it's a door that would not allow free egress if it had to be operated manually. There is no other reference in NFPA 99 to help me figure out what type of door it is. I am going to submit the question to NFPA staff and I will add a response here when I hear back.

- Lori
 
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